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Sedentary Lifestyle increases health risks

Will a sedentary lifestyle make me sick?

Americans have become to a sedentary lifestyle. According to a poll of nearly 6,300 people by the Institute for Medicine and Public Health, many people spend up to 56 hours a week staring at their computer screen or collapsed in front of their high-definition television. And if you are sick or disabled you may find that it’s difficult not only to work but to do any type of movement.

Obesity, Heart Disease and Diabetes

Unfortunately, a very real side-effect of lack of a sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise and improper eating can be deadly diseases such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Consider, it is only in the last fifty years that our lifestyle has evolved into a sedentary lifestyle. For thousands of generations our work and lifestyle demanded almost constant physical exercise and movement.

Medical experts have found that sitting for extended periods of time and having a sedentary lifestyle can force the metabolic engine in your body to literally shut down and you will burn far fewer calories each day. Additionally, research indicates that for every 2 hours you are lying down you increase your chance of getting diabetes by 7 percent. Why? Because the less you move the less blood sugar your body uses. The production of necessary enzymes also decreases and you can feel more depressed.

Doctors have also found that the chronic back pain has increased in patients who have a sedentary lifestyle. This could be due to bad posture and pressure on the spine from sitting all day and the lack of muscle development in the back to support the back and spine.

I exercise, do I need to worry?

Unfortunately, even for individuals who have the discipline to go to the gym everyday it may not be enough to counter the negative effects of sitting ten hours per day or having a sedentary lifestyle. It’s not unusual to see overweight women and men at the gym who work out religiously who still struggle with weight issues, high blood pressure and high blood sugar. Although a person’s diet is the main contributing factor to high weight, studies suggest that people who take breaks from sitting and instead move throughout the day will have less difficulty maintaining their weight.

Canadian researchers also did a study with 17,000 people and concluded that even very fit individuals were more likely to die an early death if they spent too many hours sitting each day.

Disabled and a sedentary lifestyle

What if you are disabled and cannot work? Many disabled individuals who are getting Social Security Disability Insurance have difficulty moving, but one thing is clear, if you stop moving it is more difficult to start again. One suggestion is to make small changes in your routines: park the car farther from the store entrance, take the stairs, or get up and walk around your house every hour.

If you are suffering from a mental disorder such as depression exercise has been found to produce mood enhancing effects so exercising could actually help you.

Being disabled does not mean you have to completely stop all activity. If you are disabled and overweight you can talk to a nutritionist or get a good book on eating a balanced diet. Many people start to fill better after they lose weight and feel more comfortable leaving their house and going for a walk.
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