Lifestyle - Negative Effects of a Sedentary Lifestyle

Category: Lifestyle

Negative Effects of a Sedentary Lifestyle

Dyana Macalino   October 3, 2018

According to a research done by the World Health Organization (WHO), 1 in 4 adults or 60-85% of the population doesn’t move enough. That means bad news for your health and waistline. A sedentary lifestyle is described as a type of lifestyle where a person does not perform regular amounts of physical activity. So sitting in front a screen spending hours watching Netflix can be fun but it is not doing your body any favors. But the effects of being sedentary go beyond just making you fat, read on the 4 effects of sedentary living and what you can do to reverse the damage.

Backaches get worse

Back pains are not just limited to senior citizens. Young people who spend too much time in front of computers and TV can increase their likelihood of back pains. There are vertebral discs (where the spinal nerves passes thru) in between each vertebrae and sitting for 4 hours straight can put pressure on it. Hence, people experience back pain since the normal anatomical position of a human is standing upright. To solve this problem, people should move every 15 minutes. A study conducted by the Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development shows that 25 minutes of exercise, like running or swimming can reduce back pains by 28%.

Sleep quality

Have you ever slept better after a tiring workout? That’s because exercising for as little as 150 minutes a week greatly improves the quality of sleep on the body. A study by National Sleep Foundation saw that people who exercise regularly are twice as likely to experience better sleep than those who avoid the gym. In fact, two thirds of those who do regular exercise barely experience symptoms of insomnia. On the other hand, half of people who don’t exercise described waking up in the middle of the night.

Your brain is more forgetful

Sitting for too long can make your brain suffer. The likelihood of older adults who are sedentary can develop dementia just as much as individuals who are genetically predisposed to the condition based on the research of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. A study of 1,600 participants who are 65 years old and above showed that people who are genetically disposed to dementia are twice as likely to develop it than people without the gene. It was also found that individuals who do not exercise regularly have similar odds of developing dementia. The remedy this, the participants exercised by walking three times a week reduced the risk of dementia.

Risk of cancer

The Journal of The National Cancer Institute studied the relationship between cancer and sedentary behavior and saw that long periods of watching television shows a strong risk of developing endometrial and colon cancer. This could be because watching TV is linked with drinking sweetened beverages like sodas and consuming junk food such as chips and pizza.

Solutions to a sedentary lifestyle

Research shows that sedentary behavior is linked to numerous health conditions. Most people are not active enough and are at risk of developing several diseases from being in-active.

Follow these health tips to avoid problems caused by sedentary living and maintain a disease-free life.

1. Drink more water and less sweetened beverages. Instead of grabbing some soda or milk tea, water is a healthier alternative. It keeps you hydrated and has no calories.

2. Walk more. Just a few minutes of brisk walking in a day can do wonders for your body and stamina.

3. Do household chores. Simple house work not only keeps your house clean and leads to productivity, it also metabolizes the fats in your body.

4. Avoid junk food and eat more vegetables. Instead of munching on chips and pizza while watching TV, opt for friendlier alternatives like vegetables sticks or fruits.

5. Try aerobic sports like swimming or yoga to keep your heart healthy.

6. Take the stairs instead of the elevator if you’re only going one floor up or two floors down.

7. Set a timer every 30 minutes when working at a desk and use that time to walk around and stretch your legs.


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Dyana Macalino

Dyana Macalino is a writer and editor specialist in health, lifestyle
and food. Follow her at @DyanaMacalino

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