Sedentary Lifestyle

Paying attention to your diet is only one factor in leading a healthy lifestyle. Your entire health and wellness are greatly influenced by the amount of exercise you get each day. While adding enough (or any) exercise and activity into a healthy lifestyle can positively affect both the body and the mind, insufficiently (or not at all) can have unfavorable health consequences.

A Sedentary Lifestyle: What Is It?

Even while reading a book on the couch is seen as a passive activity, this is not what is meant by a sedentary lifestyle. You might conceive it as recurring sedentary behavior that lasts for an extended period if you want to consider it a “lifestyle.” In this context, a sedentary lifestyle is defined as one that involves little to no daily movement or exercise. Sedentary people use little energy and spend more time lying down or sitting still than moving about or participating in physical activities.

One in every four adults does not engage in the recommended amount of physical activity. Only 16 percent of adults in Canada claim to engage in the required level of physical exercise, as per the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines. This indicates that leading a sedentary lifestyle is considerably more widespread than you might realize and can negatively affect the health of vast populations if it is not adequately countered by physical activity.

In this post, we’ll look at some of the concerns associated with a sedentary lifestyle and how they can affect your physical and mental health in the long run and in the short term.

Cardiovascular and Circulatory Health Effect

A study of 18 independent studies on individuals’ sedentary time revealed that those who spent more time sitting had a 147 percent higher risk of cardiovascular events and a 90% higher risk of dying from those events.

It’s critical to recognize the impact on our arteries when we think about the effects that inactivity and inactivity can have on the health of our hearts. They transport blood rich in nutrients and oxygen from the heart to various bodily tissues.

The endothelial cells that line the innermost portion of an artery are in direct touch with the bloodstream and produce nitric oxide, which, among other important functions, keeps our arteries open and the lining of our arteries smooth. Exercise directly impacts these cells, which play a vital role in vascular health. By including regular exercise in our routines, we increase the generation of nitric oxide in our endothelial cells, which can improve circulation and the general health of our arteries.

Regular exercise and movement also improve our high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, generally known as the “good” cholesterol, lower blood pressure like drugs can accomplish, and they can help control triglycerides, a form of blood fat.

Risk of Diabetes, Cancer, and Deep Vein Thrombosis is Increased

The CDC states that not getting enough exercise and activity can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes because it impairs the body’s capacity to efficiently regulate blood sugar (aka glucose). However, regular exercise can increase your body’s sensitivity to insulin and help you generally regulate your blood sugar levels.

In the short term, integrating exercises like brisk walking might enable you to utilize your muscles more vigorously, burning more energy and allowing your body to regulate your blood sugar much more easily. Long-term exercise can raise your fitness level and lessen some of its effects if you already have diabetes. Compared to diabetics who led sedentary lifestyles, individuals who walked at least two hours per week had a lower risk of passing away from heart disease.

Additionally, there is a link between getting enough exercise and a decline in various malignancies. Strong evidence suggests that those who engage in high levels of physical exercise have lower odds of developing different cancers, including bladder, breast, colon, endometrial, esophageal, kidney, and stomach cancers. This may be brought about by decreased inflammation, enhanced immunological response, decreased risk of obesity, and other risk factor reductions. Longer periods of leisure time can thus increase the risk of cancer in women in particular, according to a study.

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which can occur for a variety of causes but is primarily seen in people who sit for extended periods, is the consequence of blood clots that form in a deep vein, typically the lower leg (although it can happen in other places of the body as well). The blood flow in your leg might be reduced by 40% when you are stationary for 90 minutes, which raises the possibility of blood clots forming. Moving around and avoiding sitting for extended periods is crucial to help reduce this risk. Take a break and go for a walk!

What Sets Depression & Anxiety Off?

Living a sedentary lifestyle can significantly negatively impact how we feel psychologically and emotionally. Our mental health is just as essential as our physical health. According to research, those who lead more sedentary lifestyles are 25% more likely to experience depression than people who lead more active lives. Low levels of physical activity have also been linked to increased anxiety levels. Nine research were examined, and it was revealed that many of them associated greater screen time—which requires sitting down—and general social withdrawal—such as staying in, watching TV, etc.—with increased anxiety.

Exercise and physical activity have been shown to have a variety of positive effects on mental health, and studies have shown that one of these effects is an improvement in mood. This is because exercise increases blood flow to the brain. Running or other cardiovascular exercises that you enjoy can produce dopamine, reduce tension, and increase serotonin, all of which can lift your mood.

Alternatives to a Sedentary Lifestyle

Moving is the most obvious solution! It’s crucial to attempt to get up and move around whenever you can; for adults, this should total 150 minutes per week. You don’t have to work out at the gym to engage in moderate- to vigorous-intensity activities; you may do anything you enjoy. You can get wonderful exercise by going for a run, a brisk walk, riding a bike, taking a spin class, or even just doing some housework. The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines state that it qualifies as moderate intensity if adults can breathe more forcefully and perspire slightly more than usual. Don’t forget to talk to your doctor or another healthcare provider before starting any new physical activities.

It’s critical to have relaxed, tension-free muscles in order to best prepare your body for physical activity; this is where massages come in. If you decide to participate in sports, massage can help you perform better while also assisting with a number of other issues, such as a decrease in edema and inflammation, injury prevention, stress reduction, and re-energizing effects.