The Dark Side of Sedentarism

The Dark Side of Sedentarism

April 13, 2020 | Hope Channel Southeast Asia


Yes, here you’re about to know some of the consequences of having a sedentary lifestyle. But, wait. I do have a daily routine of exercises! Well, it can also be sedentarism. Let’s see why.

Being a sedentary person is to have habits and routines associated with low levels of activity and movement.1 Traditional thought suggests that having a healthy diet and getting aerobic exercise will offset the effects of time spent being a sedentary person. But, even if you exercise for 30 minutes a day, you may not be able to counteract the effects brought on by a lack of activity throughout the rest of your day. 2

What happens if you do have a sedentary lifestyle?

Nothing. And that’s the problem. It seems that nothing is happening because you continue having the capacity of completing your tasks on time, to move your body and go out shopping. The thing is that with the passing of time, your body can claim what you made with it, or what you didn’t.

Which are the long-term consequences of sedentarism?

  • Increase the risk of certain cancers.
  • Contribute to anxiety and depression.
  • Is a risk factor for certain cardiovascular diseases.
  • Is linked to high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol levels.
  • Sitting too much may cause a decrease in skeletal muscle mass. 3

So, what can you do to avoid those health problems and live more?

  • Less sitting and more moving overall. It’s recommended to walk at least 10,000 steps a day. 4
  • Take frequent breaks throughout the day. Take these breaks, when possible, be outside. Enjoy the fresh air, expose your skin to sunlight, and engage in nature. 5
  • Take the stairs instead of elevators. If it is one or two floors, always take the stairs. If you need to go up or down several floors, then take the stairs to two floors above or below and then take the elevator.
  • Choose to walk down instead of call or email. When you have a question for a colleague, instead of picking up the phone or shooting an email, walk over to their cube. This will not only provide some exercise but a short break for a quick recharge.
  • Choose active entertainment over passive entertainment. Instead of playing regular video games, play with a Wii. And instead of meeting friends for a cup of tea, catch up over a sunset walk. 6

As you can see the solution to sedentarism is simple! If you are aware of how your daily routine can change your life quality, you can make decisions to create new habits. Remember, “We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.” -John Dryden