Physical inactivity is on the rise, both at home and work. If we compare ourselves to older generations, access to technology and convenience has encouraged this lack of movement. Not to mention commuting to work and school in increasingly congested areas. Then sitting for hours at a desk each day only to head back home to sit for dinner and finally go to bed. Modern society almost requires a sedentary lifestyle. And we have accepted this wholeheartedly. However, research is revealing a direct correlation between this inactive lifestyle with certain health risks.
It requires effort to exercise regularly. We also need to dedicate time to do it. And while it does not provide immediate results, like what we are conditioned to expect with our digital world, we need patience, too. All things our modern day society does not promote. Yet, this same research is also looking at what it will take to change this unhealthy trend. For example, to reverse the health risks of sitting for eight hours a day, 60 minutes of exercise may be required. Think about that for a moment.
Perhaps you are wondering what could be so bad about sitting for extended periods of time. Well, let’s take a look:
- Heart Disease
- Muscle Degeneration
- Leg Disorders
- Back Pain
- Foggy Brain
- Neck and Shoulder Strain
So, now you are probably thinking to yourself, “This can’t be true, I’m just sitting.” Truth is that our bodies are designed for movement. And extended periods of inactivity don’t allow it to function as it should. When muscles are slow to burn fat and blood flow decreases, fatty acids have more opportunity to clog arteries. Extended periods of sitting have been linked to high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease.
Muscles that have been restricted in use begin to degenerate. Also, slumping while sitting puts strain on muscles to compensate where they shouldn’t. Leaving a person with a poor posture and pain, not to mention poor circulation especially in the legs. In terms of brain function, decreased blood flow also affects the oxygen getting to the brain, hence we experience brain fog. It is more difficult to concentrate on the task at hand, plus we feel sluggish.
We do not need to let this be our outcome if we take steps today to change our sedentary lifestyle. To counter the affects of a sedentary lifestyle requires awareness of our daily schedule. In other words, how much time we are spending sitting each day. Choosing to break the monotony with walks, exercise, taking the stairs, stretching, and seeing a chiropractor for periodic adjustments all help.
While we may not be able to change our commute, our job, or even the conveniences of modern society, we can change what we do in our free time.