Sedentary Lifestyles and Obesity: Effects and Solutions

April 14, 2022

man suffering from back pain
Elaine F.

Do you have a friendly relationship with your office chair, where you spend half of your day? We're confident you do. You may spend countless hours a day sitting at the desk or driving to work, especially if you live a corporate lifestyle. If you do, you may be unwittingly contributing to a severe issue: a sedentary lifestyle.

We are more likely to fall into a growing sedentary lifestyle as we grow older. As per the Department of Health and Human Services, an estimated 67 percent of older adults sit for more than 8 hours a day, and only 28 percent to 34 percent of adults aged 65 to 74 are physically active.

Every day, Evelyn O'Neill, the manager of outpatient fitness programs at the Hebrew Rehabilitation Center, observes the effects of excessive sitting. She says, “Sitting is the new smoking in terms of health risks. The Lack of movement is perhaps more to blame than anything for a host of health problems.”

What Does It Mean to Live a Sedentary Lifestyle?

Sedentary behavior is defined as prolonged periods of time spent with little or no energy expenditure or physical activity. Sitting stationary in front of the desktop screen all day, with just the eyes and fingers moving, reveals a lot about our way of life.

Furthermore, despite so many developments, the workplace culture was better half a century ago than it is today. This is something that technology should take credit for. Corporate employment is more prone to sedentary behavior than physically active ones. In truth, it has come to be among the most pressing health concerns of our day, and adopting a sedentary lifestyle may lead to a variety of chronic health conditions, including obesity and heart disease.

weakened immune system

What Are the Negative Effects of a Sedentary Lifestyle?

People who have a sedentary lifestyle may be a separate risk factor for a variety of negative health outcomes in adults, irrespective of physical exercise. As a result, the cumulative impacts of a sedentary life are as follows:

Sedentary behavior has been related to obesity, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders, and other health issues.
Inactivity over long periods of time slows metabolism and weakens the body's capacity to control blood pressure and sugar levels, as well as break down fats.
A weakened immune system renders us more susceptible to sickness.
Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become brittle.
Less body movement leads to a loss of flexibility.

The Dangers of a Sedentary Lifestyle

The Dangers of a Sedentary Lifestyle

A sedentary lifestyle might have unintended consequences for your health. According to a study of over 15,000 people, prolonged sitting, such as watching TV for hours, can increase the risk of venous thrombosis, which is a potentially fatal form of blood clots that can persist in the veins in the legs. In fact, persons who viewed the most television had a 70 percent higher risk of venous thrombosis than those who rarely or never watched television.

According to studies, the following are the most prevalent dangers that a sedentary lifestyle poses:

Obesity
Diabetes (type 2)
Cancer
Cardiovascular problems
Death at a young age

Solutions to Sedentary Lifestyle

The issue isn't with sitting; it's actually with not moving too much. If you work in the corporate sector, you might be surprised to learn how much damage your sedentary lifestyle is wreaking on the body and mind. It's not too late, though. But there are plenty of things you can do to combat this problem.

You can combat the damaging consequences of sedentary living by using the methods listed below.

Solutions to Sedentary Lifestyle

Keep Track of How Much Time You Spend Sitting

Sitting is a habitual activity that we all engage in on a daily basis. But do you keep track of how many hours you spend sitting at work or at home?

Isn't that correct? The first step is to keep track of how much time you spend sitting in your office. Once you've figured out how much time you're wasting, make an effort to cut it down. Many studies show that sitting for extended periods of time increases our risk of developing health problems.

Take Breaks Frequently

Nobody enjoys working for eight hours without taking a break once in a while. It's also a good idea to refresh the mind in the middle.

So, every now and then, take a little break to get out of the chair. Take a walk, brew some coffee, or simply stand up to stretch the limbs. Taking small breaks can help you overcome any boredom while you are working and increase your productivity.

And before you know it, you'll be getting out of your chair more frequently rather than being stuck in it for hours.

After Lunch, Take a Walk

After Lunch, Take a Walk

Walking is the most pleasant form of exercise, making it the best choice for anybody who intends to remain fit. Isn't it convenient and healthy?

After your meal, go for a stroll. Alternatively, take a stroll to a local shop for lunch. This will guarantee that you have an additional activity throughout the day.

Walking after a meal, in particular, benefits digestion and blood sugar management. It also benefits your heart by raising HDL cholesterol and lowering LDL cholesterol.

Use The Stairwell

When we enter a building with more than two stories, the elevator is the very first thing we search for. We are so accustomed to riding elevators, even to the first and second floors, that the idea of climbing the stairs does not occur to us.

We might even consider it quite a waste of time since everyone is constantly in a hurry. Take the stairs instead of the elevator if the office building is multi-story and has elevators. Stair climbing expends a huge amount of energy and consumes a lot of calories. Climbing the stairs really burns more calories every minute than running.

Taking the stairs is also a kind of physical exercise that will aid you in becoming less sedentary.

Work While Standing

Work While Standing

Long durations of sitting at work are one of the leading causes of back discomfort and poor posture.

Every hour, attempt to work while standing using a standing desk for at least 15 minutes. This will assist you in avoiding excessive sedentary behavior. If you're a boss, you may offer your workers standing desks, so they are more active.

Standing workstations or treadmill desks can help you maintain proper posture while also removing the health hazards that come with sitting.

Workout

Physical activity may reduce the dangers linked with sedentary behavior. However, doing adequate movement in the workplace alone might be challenging. There are several workouts that you may do at your desk without using any fitness equipment.

These exercises are simple to do and will assist you in getting out of your chair and being more active. These exercises will also help you lose weight and maintain a healthy weight.

Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle Outside of Work

Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle Outside of Work

Even if you make changes like climbing stairs or riding your bike to work, you still may not be able to prevent being physically inactive at work entirely. As a result, when you get home from work, try sitting as little as possible.

Do not simply return home and collapse into bed. Avoid playing video games or watching TV on the sofa at home. Go for a Zumba class, take an evening stroll, or do anything else that will keep you from sitting for long periods of time.

Try roaming about in search of something.

Switch Up Your Commute

You are primarily physically inactive when traveling to and from work, adding to becoming sedentary at work. Whether you're driving a car or taking the bus, you'll be sitting for the whole of your trip. And all of this adds up to the number of hours you spend sitting.

Walking or biking to work are two strategies to counteract this. Both offer several advantages and are excellent for maintaining one's health and fitness. They are also advantageous to the environment. They'll also keep you moving during the day and relieve the tension that comes with driving in traffic.

Take Part in A Fitness Competition

Take Part in A Fitness Competition

Corporates are now taking the health of employees into consideration and developing a variety of programs aimed at their workers' well-being since the health of the workforce is directly tied to levels of productivity that shouldn't be compromised.

If you're an employer that hasn't yet implemented a fitness challenge, you should do so right now. As part of the company's health and wellness activities, a fitness challenge might be implemented. It may include tasks such as walking 10,000 steps per day, biking to work, and so on.

Participating in such challenges encourages healthy habits and combats the sedentary habits that come with working in an office.

Drink More and Eat Less

Calories may be consumed for free, and that's the last thing you want: the more food you eat, the more calories you consume. Sitting also does not help you burn calories. Then you'll be trapped with them for the rest of your life.

As a result, the motto is simple: drink water instead of eating.

Continue to consume but in smaller quantities. Controlling urges is difficult, particularly if you love cooking fancy dishes, but it is achievable.

In Conclusion

It is important to find better solutions to sedentary lifestyles and incorporate them into everyday life. It is vital for a healthy lifestyle, so don't overlook it!

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