7 Ways In Which A Sedentary Lifestyle Can Impact Your Health

Written by , BA (Media & Communication) Niharika Nayak BA (Media & Communication) Experience: 4 years
Last Updated on

One of the biggest threats to a person’s health is leading an inactive or sedentary lifestyle. If you spend most of your time sitting or at rest and don’t perform any form of exercise, you are probably leading a sedentary lifestyle. Regular exercise and physical activity are essential to achieve optimum health (1). Many fail to add the right amount of exercise into their daily schedule, which eventually increases the risk of diabetes, obesity, certain forms of cancer, high blood pressure, and more (2). Through this article, we hope to educate you about the harmful effects a sedentary lifestyle can have on your life:

How Does A Sedentary Lifestyle Affect You?

Human beings are built to stand upright. Your cardiovascular system and heart work more effectively when you are standing straight. Even your bowel can function in a more efficient manner when you are upright. Hence, it is pretty common for those who are bedridden in the hospital to have issues with the functioning of their bowels (3). And if you are someone who is physically active, your endurance and overall energy levels improve. Your bones are also able to maintain their strength.

1. Can Lead To Obesity

Can Lead To Obesity
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You’ve probably already heard that being a couch potato and plopping down on the couch in front of screens all day can lead to obesity. Your parents have probably lectured you enough about it. Being obese has a couple of significant side effects. Obesity is linked to many severe health conditions and diseases like joint pain, risk of stroke, hypertension, heart disease, and more (4).

2. Makes You More Prone To Heart Disease

Makes You More Prone To Heart Disease
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Leading a sedentary lifestyle will eventually lead to high blood pressure, poor cholesterol levels, and an increase in the level of blood sugar, which will eventually damage the walls of your blood vessels and increase your risk of suffering from a heart attack (5).

3. More Likely To Develop Stroke

More Likely To Develop Stroke
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A stroke usually happens when there is a loss in the flow of blood to the brain. If your brain cells can’t get the nutrients and oxygen they need from your blood, they eventually start to die off after a few minutes. For those who suffer from it, this can cause long-term brain damage, disability, and in some cases, death (6). It’s vital that you learn the signs of stroke and keep a lookout for symptoms so you can identify them immediately. Being obese and not getting the right amount of physical activity can increase your chances of suffering from a stroke.

4. You Could End Up Suffering From Anxiety And Depression

You Could End Up Suffering From Anxiety And Depression
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When you’re inactive and sluggish for too long, you may notice that your mental health starts to suffer and this, in turn, increases your risk of suffering from depression and anxiety (7). These two conditions are more common among adolescents and adults than they are among older folks, as these are the ones who spend the most time in front of their screens. Many younger people also follow poor sleep schedules and have an unhealthy diet. All of these factors can worsen the condition even further.

5. You Have A Risk Of Developing Osteoporosis

You Have A Risk Of Developing Osteoporosis
Image: IStock

Your muscles and bones are made to work. An inactive lifestyle and sedentary behavior can affect how your body regulates itself and make your bones weaker. This eventually could lead to a condition called Osteoporosis (8).

6. You Could Lose Flexibility

You Could Lose Flexibility
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A sedentary lifestyle can eventually lead to a loss of flexibility since blood flow is slower through bound and firm muscles. This can also cause pain and inflammation in your body and put pressure on the disks that are located in your lower back. One of the most common reasons for backache is a lack of flexibility (9).

7. You’re More Likely To Develop Type 2 Diabetes

You're More Likely To Develop Type 2 Diabetes
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Type 2 diabetes is a disease where your blood sugar or blood glucose levels are abnormally high. Humans derive glucose from the foods they eat and use it as a primary source of energy. Insulin helps glucose energize your cells. If you are someone who has diabetes, then your body is not making enough insulin and does not use the insulin well. The glucose stays in your blood, and not enough goes into your cells. While type 2 diabetes may be caused due to a combination of factors, being overweight, being inactive, and having diabetes in your family can increase your chances of getting it (10).

There are plenty of ways with which you can have a more active lifestyle by just making a few changes to your daily routine. You could take the stairs instead of the lift on your way home, or you could go for a daily walk at night once you’ve finished off your work for the day. Making these small changes will help you lead a more active lifestyle and avoid all the problems associated with a sedentary one. Do let us know all of your thoughts on this article in the comment section down below!

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Niharika Nayak
Niharika NayakBA (Media & Communication)
Niharika has a passion for all things art, music, and travel and has over 4 years of experience in writing for social media. During her spare time, she likes experimenting in the kitchen, playing video games, and hanging out with stray animals.

Read full bio of Niharika Nayak
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