It’s not hard to see how many of us live a sedentary lifestyle these days. Whether we’re sitting in our offices at work, riding the bus or our cars to work, and watching TV at night. The rate of physical activity that most people endure each day is lacking, and there are serious dangers to be had.
Living a sedentary lifestyle means one of inactivity, and it’s actually more common than you might think. According to a study posted in the National Library of Medicine, the average rate of those with a sedentary office job in 1970 was 2 in 10 Americans. By 2010, that number had risen to 4 in 10, with the rate of those in physical jobs also dropping by half.
It’s not just the workplace where we see the damage being done, as it also spills over into our leisure time. There’s more TV watching, internet surfing, and using transport to get places we could walk or ride to, so all over we are feeling the effects of a sedentary lifestyle.
Although it might not sound so serious, there are actually some very serious consequences to being a sedentary person.
The place where we see most of the inactivity occur is in the workplace. Most of us have jobs that require us to sit at a computer or study for extended periods, but what is it actually doing? The most troubling concern is that it can lead to higher rates of cardiovascular disease and weight gain, but it can also affect your mental state.
Getting used to this sedentary lifestyle makes it harder to break out of. For most of us, this inactivity comes from sitting at your workstations all day for eight hours, which then leads to feelings of immobility and laziness. Once you get into the habit of this inactive lifestyle, the consequences then get more serious and harder to come back from.
When you combine this inactivity at work with the lack of activity in the other areas of our life, it’s easy to see why we’ve become sedentary people. However, there are very grave consequences for this type of lifestyle. Here are some things we should be concerned about when it comes to an inactive life:
Without regular exercise, it is very easy to gain weight. Those who are already eating a diet that’s unhealthy will be even more at risk of weight gain which can itself lead to further health concerns.
Leading an inactive lifestyle and being overweight will significantly increase your chance of heart disease which can include consequences like stroke or heart attack.
Those who are less active or sedentary will greatly increase their risk of developing high blood pressure which can lead to serious health consequences.
Studies have shown that those who aren’t active are more likely to develop mental health concerns like anxiety and depression. Doing just 30 minutes a day of exercise can actually reduce these problems.
Spending eight hours a day sitting at your work desk can do serious things to your motivation levels. Many people find an improvement in concentration and productivity after a short spurt of exercise or using ergonomic products like standing desks.
If you think you might be leading a sedentary lifestyle or are edging towards it, there are plenty of things you can do to turn it around. The best place to start is by looking at what your daily habits are, and for most of us, that means targeting the workplace.
Small things like opting to take the stairs instead of the elevator and using a standing to sitting desk might seem minuscule but they’ll have a huge impact. Outside of work, committing to a small amount of exercise each day and then building on that so you’re doing at least 30 minutes a day will have serious positive consequences.
As humans, we’re not meant to sit around all day doing nothing, and when we start to live that lifestyle our bodies will take notice. Make some small changes today and notice just how much better they feel, and give your body the active lifestyle it deserves.