Wednesday, 20 December 2017

The Negative Effects Of Sedentary Lifestyle


Andrew Weil said,

Human bodies are designed for regular physical activity. The sedentary nature of much of modern life probably plays a significant role in the epidemic incidence of depression today. Many studies show that depressed patients who stick to a regimen of aerobic exercise improve as much as those treated with medication.

The sedentary lifestyle according to Wikipedia is a lifestyle with little or no physical activity. A sedentary lifestyle simply means you spend more time in a sitting position which can be referred to as physical inactivity. Sedentary lifestyle seems to be our evolutionary position in the 21st century. The modern lifestyle revolves around a sitting position. Tracing our history back to the evolutionary process of human, we were made to understand that we evolved to become human by our erect standing position. The lifestyle we are leading is gradually changing our physique and structure.

The advancement of all traditional and modern work environment is making the situation even more preposterously difficult. Machines have replaced the traditional work environment making workers have a sedentary lifestyle while computers have dominated the modern work environment. All these setups are all promoting sedentary lifestyle at an exponential rate. Sitting has since evolved into the disease of this electronic age. A Sedentary lifestyle is one of the harmful effects of the advent of technology. The traditional way of doing things have been ignored and relegated to the background.

We all feel at ease when we sit and have made it a habit and norm for us to sit at all times. Both at work and home; we sit.

The Negative Effects

The sedentary lifestyle is one of the leading cause of obesity known to man. The negative side effects of sedentary life are numerous and of great consequences. Below are a few of these effects;

Sitting all day has an enormously negative effect on every part of the body. The physiological and anatomical make up of our body was designed to move regularly and not sit at all times. Prolonged sitting makes our muscles feel cramped and our butts soon start to ache. These are only the immediate side effects of sitting for too long. These side effects are nothing compared to the long term effects.

  • Anatomical and physiological effect. The structure of every human spine is meant to be straight. You need to know how sitting affects your anatomical structure. The first part sitting affects is your spine. It curves your spine as you sit slouching and puts a strain on your spinal cord as well. Then it confines your lungs and prevents it from expanding to its full potential and ultimately prevent your body from getting enough oxygen. The effect of less oxygen most especially on the brain eventually makes you lose concentration. It hereby reduced your functional capacity.
  • Emotional and psychological imbalance. After sitting for more than six hours in a day, there is bound to be some form of anxiety and psychological distress. During this period, your mind wheel is working at a slow pace or entirely on a pause. You automatically become less focused after remaining in the same position for long.
  • Weight gain. This is the most obvious effect of a sedentary lifestyle. This condition is associated with little to no physical activity. Most of the foods we consume are stored as sugar in the body. Without proper physical activity to burn them, they convert to fat which stores up and hence results in obesity and a general ability of the body to metabolize fat reduces drastically. Which in turn takes its toll on its victim’s self-esteem.
  • Increased cancer risk. A sedentary lifestyle naturally increased your risk of having a cancerous growth. This risk doubles when you have a craving for sweets and junks. These foods are the leading cause of obesity. Excess fat in the body often causes cell proliferation which is the genesis of cancerous growth and development.
  • Increased blood sugar level. A sedentary lifestyle causes an increase in the blood sugar. Sugar is only fed upon when we engage in physical and psychological activities. Every sugar produced in the body cannot be absorbed by the brain alone irrespective of how much you task it. The sugar meant to be utilized by the physical body becomes stored due to a sedentary lifestyle, thereby increasing the blood sugar level.
  • Low sex drive. A sedentary lifestyle is setting you up for problems associated with the penis. The sperms cells are affected by this continuous sitting position. Less physical activity reduces your sexual function. This rule applies to both male and female gender.
  • Deprivation of good sleep and rest. A sedentary lifestyle makes you sleep less soundly. This lifestyle tends to make you more tired during the day and want to sleep as much as possible during the day. This is a great risk that disrupts your pattern of sleep during the night. It deprives you of a good night rest and you tend to wake up intermittently during the night. The long-term effect of this is insomnia.
  • Osteoporosis. A sedentary lifestyle can also result in osteoporosis. This condition is known as the weakening of the bone. This is a severe condition that can last for years and even for a lifetime. It is known to have no cure. This gives you a high risk of bone breakage.
  • Computer vision syndrome. This is a condition associated with a sedentary worker who uses a computer or other display devices that require them to focus their eyes on a screen.
  • High blood pressure. This is also known as hypertension; it is one of the leading cause of stroke and some kidney anomalies. Sedentary life weakens the heart and when the heart is weakened, pumping blood is no longer effective. Pumping of blood efficiently through the heart is necessary for the proper functioning of the heart and the body generally.
  • Heart-related diseases. Heart-related diseases can be caused when the efficiency of coronary blood flow is compromised as seen in a sedentary lifestyle. Continuous exercise helps increase the level of good cholesterol in our body which is what helps prevent heart diseases.
  • Type 2 Diabetes. This is also known as adult-onset diabetes. The leading cause of this is obesity and physical inactivity which are both associated with sedentary lifestyle. This is why you see people after they retire battling with this form of diabetes. It is as a result of their past work life. This is a pointer for you reading this article to take action when the time is right.

The long and short of this entire negative side effects of sedentary life points to the fact that your health deteriorates physically, psychologically and emotionally. Studies even point to the fact that sedentary lifestyle causes more annual deaths than smoking. This shows how dangerous it is.

The Way Out

The good news is that this doesn’t have to be your fate. The way out is simple and can easily become a way of life. These negative effects are all scary and harmful. Since it is impossible to do some things on your feet. Take for instance during a board meeting presentation and you suddenly stand when you are not the presenter is really an awkward situation.

These effects mentioned above point out the hazards of sedentary life but companies are taking little to no action to remedy the situation. This leaves the choice to you to take action before it causes a permanent damage. Changing this pattern of sedentary lifestyle is difficult for most people. This is mostly because of their job requirements. You are the architect of your own life. You can choose to use every available opportunity to guard your health. Physical activity is the only way to be rid of these negative effects. From your busy schedule, work condition, responsibilities, you can make it work. The way out is easier than we envisage. It requires just a little effort on your end in order to avoid a sedentary lifestyle. The way out is centered around your involvement in physical activity.

  • Devote your weekends to rigorous exercise to make up for during the week. It’s best to spread them throughout the week but better on weekends than not at all. Engage in swimming as a form of relaxation and exercise because it flexes every part of your body including your lungs.
  • Use the stairs instead of the elevators. Taking the stairs on your way to work or in order to move from one floor to the other is a perfect form of exercise during work hours.
  • Whenever the opportunity presents itself, be sure to stand. It’s healthy for you. Take a break and eat your lunch on your feet. Stand whenever you can. Don’t get overly comfortable in your sitting position.
  • Take a walk whenever you have the opportunity. Stroll in the evening with your wife, friend or even kids. This simple act is far more relaxing than any relaxation pill.
  • Eat healthy. Avoid junks at all cost because they hinder you from physical activities. What you eat goes a long way in boosting your activity level. To get the best of a healthy lifestyle, you need to pay close attention to what you consume. Your future health depends on it.
  • Engage in some house chores, like washing the dishes, gardening and so on. It is a form of physical activity.
  • Dance when you can. Dancing is an activity I love personally and has worked perfectly well for me as a writer. I move to the rhythm of songs whenever I hear them playing. Dancing as a form of exercise is often overlooked. It shouldn’t be.
  • Walk when you have to take long calls. Walking along the corridor when taking long calls serve as an effective physical activity.
  • Find time to exercise. The saying “I don’t have time” has dominated the modern life but am sure with the list of negative effects, you will make time. Thirty minutes in a day won’t kill you or make you lag behind in your responsibilities.
  • Park further away from the door to give yourself the opportunity to walk a reasonable distance.
  • You could cycle to work at times or take the subway train. This will give you the opportunity to multitask. Exercise and get to work all within the same time frame.

All these are focused on giving you some distance to walk before resuming to your sedentary life.


Steven Magee said, “the body is not designed to be sedentary”. The question is why make it?

Sedentary life has no positive effect be it long term or short term. Moving makes you feel brighter, more agile, happier, and more attentive; this is due to the circulation taking place in your body. Avoiding a sedentary lifestyle would make you live longer and healthier.

The aim is to do everything that will keep you moving. Sedentary lifestyle kills faster than even smoking; which shows how dangerous it is. This is a call to action for you to safeguard, preserve your health and mind. Health is wealth. You only live once; make it a long and healthy one.

The Negative Effects Of Sedentary Lifestyle

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