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Sedentary lifestyle is on the rise, as more and more of our activities are being done through a few taps on our personal devices. This habit has already becoming a lifestyle for a lot of people, especially as most office jobs require sitting in front of a computer screen for an extended period of time. Howeved, this may not be the healthiest way to live your life, as some experts believe that the unhealthy effects of sitting may not be reversible or compensated through various exercises you may be doing. On this week's journal, we will be explaining to you a number of health risks that may occur when you lead a sedentary life. Read on!
1. Weight gain and metabolic problems
One of the most common result of not having enough physical activities during the day, is that you are most likely to gain weight. Periods of inactivity makes the body store the foods you consume as fat and not much is being used as energy. This habit can lead to imbalance in your blood sugar levels and making your body more resistant to insulin, thus increasing the risk of developing diabetes type 2.
Your metabolism can also get disrupted when you have a sedentary lifestyle. Even though metabolic problems often don't show up as prominently, some physical changes can be observed, including a larger waist circumference. Symptoms of blood sugar imbalance and pre-diabetes like increased thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, and blurred vision may also occur
2. Cardiovascular problems
Poor blood circulation are also prominent in those who are lacking physical activity in their daily lives. Your muscles also burn less fat during prolonged sitting, which may lead to clogged arteries and fatty liver disease. Overall sedentary behaviour can lead to high blood pressure, poor cholesterol levels and increase in blood sugar levels which in turn damage the walls of the blood vessels increasing the risk of a heart attack.
As a contrast, being physically active promotes higher levels of good cholesterol (HDL) and lowers bad cholesterol (LDL), which can result in lowered blood pressure levels and lowers risk of cardiovascular problems.
3. Bone density and muscle loss
In order to ace activities on your everyday life, your physical structure needs to be in a top shape in order not to get easily tired. This includes your muscles and bones. What happens when you are inactive will most likely affect them first, as you can gradually lose muscle strength when you don't use them often enough. Studies show that when you are sitting for too long, your postural muscles like the quadriceps and glutes aren’t doing anything.
Inactivity also makes the body loses flexibility over time, as blood flow is also hindered. As your muscles and bones are designed to work and be used for physical activities, less than frequent movements may cause inflammation and pain, as well as pressure on the disks on your spine. It can also make your bones weaker and increase risk of osteoporosis over a period of time.
4. Weakened immunity
Studies have shown that periods of inactivity may lead to lowered immunity, meaning that your body will not be able to fight potential infection from bacteria and viruses as effectively. A sedentary lifestyle is also closely linked to more occurences of inflammation and development of chronic diseases over time, such as diabetes and cancer.
In order to increase your immunity, especially during this pandemic, implementing an exercise regime is important. Experts suggest that 30 minutes of exercise per day is enough, though if you have been inactive, a gradual effort may be helpful as getting some exercise in your daily routine is always better than none.
5. Affects brain health
Lastly, being sedentary can also take a toll on your mental well-being. It can increase your risk of stress and depression due to the lack of mental stimulation you get from exercise or other form of physical activity. This situation not only affects adolescents and young people as they are growing up constantly glued to the screens, but also in older generations as well, as they are also being accustomed to this kind of lifestyle. Therefore, whenever you feel uninspired, taking some time to walk outside or doing some exercises may help clear your mind, as well as giving you a supply of happy hormones like serotonin and endorphin.