Living a Sedentary Lifestyle

habit health Mar 17, 2023

Most people would agree that sitting around all day is not good. Yet, surprisingly, many people still choose to live a sedentary lifestyle. So what is a sedentary lifestyle? It's basically when you spend most of your time sitting down, whether at work, at home, or in leisure time. There are many dangers associated with a sedentary lifestyle, and it's essential to be aware of them so you can make the necessary changes to protect your health.

Are you not moving much?

A sedentary lifestyle is a way of living where we spend much time sitting or lying down, and not much physical movement is involved. Unfortunately, with how things work in our system nowadays and with technology being a part of our lives, you are most likely living a sedentary lifestyle without noticing it. Many of our time may demand us to sit for long periods, and with how busy we can get, we may forget to insert time for physical activity. And it's not only in the workplace where a sedentary lifestyle may happen; it's also something that can occur during our free periods. Some signs indicate that you are leaning more into sedentary behavior than a physically active lifestyle.

  • You have a job requiring you to sit for almost eight hours or more daily. This setting is usually found in office work, where you have to sit in front of the computer and do various tasks. Another example is if you are a driver and have to sit for hours driving a vehicle to make a living.
  • Your favorite pastimes involve sitting on the couch or lying on the bed while enjoying something, such as watching TV shows, playing video games, or browsing the Internet on your phone or computer.
  • Despite not doing any strenuous physical activity, you may feel tired and weak if you go on prolonged periods not doing any exercise or physical activity.
  • You may feel some aches and pains, such as in your back and joints, due to being physically inactive.
  • You may find lifting, pushing, or pulling difficult because your muscles are not used to physical activities.
  • Weight gain is one sign that you are leading a sedentary lifestyle. Aside from overeating, an increasingly sedentary lifestyle involves physical inactivity that lowers the rate of calories burned. As a result, you accumulate more body fat, increasing your body weight.
  • Aside from physical health effects, your mental health may also be at risk from sedentary behaviors. For example, one may be more prone to depression or have negative thoughts when there is a lack of moderate or vigorous physical activity.

There are various health risks one can receive from not moving too much. The most obvious are compromises to your physical body, such as weakening bones and muscles, lower endurance, increased blood pressure, weight gain, heart disease, and more. In addition, your mental well-being can get affected afterward due to the stress of acquiring such diseases. These can lead to premature death and could have been prevented if only one has led a more active lifestyle.

What can I do to have more physical activity in my life?

A sedentary lifestyle cannot be helped sometimes, especially if you don't have a physically demanding job and your interests don't involve much physical activity. However, it can also be a conscious choice for someone to engage in such a lifestyle. For the most part, changing a sedentary lifestyle is within our control, especially if one realizes the health benefits of a physically active lifestyle and we want to achieve more by living longer. While we may not be able to change everything completely, it's possible to gradually improve our daily activities so that we get to insert some time for physical activity every day or at least a set time regularly every week. The following are some activities that can help.

  • Work is where we get to spend a lot of our time daily. If our job involves sitting for a long time daily, inserting time for physical activities can be challenging. However, we can improvise and try to move our bodies occasionally to make our blood flow regularly and not make it stuck in one place. For example, try standing from your seat and moving around after every hour, such as taking a toilet break to refresh. During break time, you can try to walk and do some little exercise after eating your meal. What's essential is that you don't end up sitting straight for long hours and get some movement in between.
  • It sure can be enjoyable to have interests that involve watching television shows, playing games, or browsing the Internet on your computer, phone, or TV. Still, these activities can keep you sitting or get you into a lying posture for a long time, especially during marathon sessions. Therefore, it can be good to have other activities of interest that are more physically active, such as hiking, playing a sport, or walking around the neighborhood or in parks. This ensures you maintain balance in being physically active, especially if your job involves sitting for hours.
  • Having exercise as part of your daily habits is an excellent way to stop having a sedentary lifestyle. Try to insert an hour each day to do something that moves your muscles. You must have a passion for life to motivate yourself to do this despite your busy schedule. Just know that it will only be beneficial to you if you make it a habit to at least do some moderate physical activity each day.
  • If you can get somewhere by walking or riding a bike, try to do so. You will save up on gas or transportation fees and also get to move your body. Also, if you have a business with somebody and that person lives near you or is just around the corner in your workplace or any venue, approach them personally so you can walk instead of texting or sending an e-mail about your business.
  • This can be pretty challenging, but if you can pick a job that is more physically active or at least has more leeway to do some exercise or any physical activity between work, do so, especially if the job allows you to earn well too. Not everybody can obtain such a job, so you are lucky if you can get a job with these perks.

A sedentary lifestyle is a habit that can form when we let ourselves indulge in activities that require low energy expenditure for a long time. As a result, we may start to get lazy and comfortable and avoid any physical activity. While it may look relaxing and easy to have a sedentary lifestyle, it will only cost our health later on and increase the risk of acquiring illnesses. That's why getting our body moving regularly is essential, even if it is only moderate-intensity physical activity, such as walking or doing a few push-ups daily. Dedicating a bit of our time each day to exercise won't hurt, and we can only benefit from a physically active life.

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