It is a fact that many modern jobs are sedentary – a lot of people worldwide do their jobs by sitting in front of a computer. This kind of inactive lifestyle comes with several health risks. To avoid them, we must be aware of this and consciously change our lifestyle to be more active during or after our jobs. Even the littlest things can significantly affect your physical and mental health and well-being. Keep reading to learn more about the seven health risks of a sedentary lifestyle and how to minimise them.
Health issues arising from a sedentary lifestyle include heart disease, vein-related issues, high cholesterol and blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and some types of cancer. As you can see, these are serious, so if your lifestyle is sedentary, consider avoiding suffering from any of these issues. You can do some things to minimise the health risks stemming from this lifestyle – you’ll find out what they are at the end of the article.
The first health risk we will discuss is heart disease. Heart disease arises from insufficient physical activity. Two common conditions are related to heart disease stemming from an inactive lifestyle. The first one is called cardiomyopathy and is related to how your heart pumps blood. Another one is coronary artery disease, which means that the blood flow or oxygen-rich blood to the heart is decreased. Heart disease can be caused by other factors as well. However, lack of movement is a significant factor. Blood flow can be at risk to the heart and another quintessential organ – the brain. Sudden weakness in the limbs, loss of balance, difficulty swallowing, loss of vision, dizziness, and numbness are all signs of poor blood flow to the brain. If you feel any of these symptoms, it would be best to consult a neurosurgeon in Brisbane or in your area.
Another health risk of a sedentary lifestyle is vein-related issues. When you don’t move much, what happens is that blood flows more slowly, which can lead to vein-related issues. Most common vein-related problems include spider veins, varicose veins, and superficial and deep vein thrombosis. In vein thrombosis, blood clots form in veins, and they can be life-threatening if they travel to the lungs and block blood flow. Being active ensures your blood is moving regularly, avoiding vein-related issues.
Cholesterol is a substance our body needs to create healthy cells, and a sedentary lifestyle can negatively affect it. There are two types of cholesterol: a good one and a bad one. HDL, or high-density lipoprotein, is the good cholesterol that helps remove the LDL, or low-density lipoprotein – bad cholesterol, from our bloodstream. When you live a more sedentary lifestyle, your LDL levels can be higher than HDL levels, resulting in hardened arteries, vascular issues, and more.
High blood pressure
Hypertension or high blood pressure is when blood pushes too firmly through your body. This causes your heart to work faster, leading to weakened blood vessels. Incorporating some physical activity into your lifestyle can keep your blood flow at the speed it should be.
Our body uses insulin to regulate blood sugar levels and metabolism – it also helps our bodies to use the sugar it needs for energy. Sitting for an extended period causes changes to our bodies, potentially leading to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. This type of diabetes is common in adults, but children can also suffer. Even though there isn’t a cure for it, you can manage it well with a varied diet, physical activity and weight loss.
Not being physically active means less movement, which means fewer calories burned. As far as adults and teens are concerned, it is recommended that they engage in physical activity for at least 2.5 hours weekly. Studies show a minor number of people doing that. Such inactivity leads to weight gain and eventually obesity.
Some types of cancer
A sedentary lifestyle can also cause several types of cancer, such as endometrial and ovarian. Being more active and eating a well-balanced diet can prevent you from developing these types of cancers and other health issues.
Things you can do to minimise health risks stemming from a sedentary lifestyle
When it comes to things we can do to minimise health risks stemming from a sedentary lifestyle, there are a few simple things you can do. You don’t need to go to do gym every day for 2 hours to be healthy and active. You should move your body more while doing usual, everyday tasks, you should walk, do chores, use stairs instead of elevators, get off a stop or two before your stop and take a walk. Cycle, swim, run – do whatever suits you at least 2 or 3 times a week.
Being aware of the risks of a sedentary lifestyle is the first step. The second one is making some changes, and the third one is practicing those things.