Having a sedentary life is a significant public health problem. Sitting looks more dangerous than smoking, HIV, and extreme sports like parachuting because it kills more people than any of these threats. Doctors state that people have adopted a dangerous habit, the one of sitting themselves to death. The scientific community has named this condition the sitting disease and implies people developing health issues due to their sedentary life.
The Sedentary Behavior Research Network released a paper in 2017 to define sedentary behaviour and named it an activity that involves reclining, sitting, or lying down in a position that implies minimum energy. Research shows that a worrying percent of only 21% of adults are meeting the physical activity guidelines, and only 5% of them engage in physical activities for more than 30 minutes daily.
Most people don’t know what the risks associated with sitting down for too long are. Even if it may sound dramatic, inactivity can lead to a higher risk of developing chronic medical issues and even death. The World Health Organization states that sedentarism is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality being responsible for 12% of hypertension and diabetes, 22% of colon cancer, 22% of heart disease, and 6% of worldwide deaths.
Why is sedentarism so dangerous for your health?
The research revealed that a sedentary lifestyle is associated with many health risks. Numerous studies confirmed that inactive people are at risk of developing cardiovascular conditions, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, or early death.
When you sit for periods longer than 30 minutes, you reduce your metabolism and impair your body’s ability to synthesize fat, regulate blood pressure, and manage blood sugar levels. Studies show that a sedentary lifestyle can increase the risk of early death.
It puts a toll on your mental health
Being inactive has a negative impact on your mental well-being. Sedentarism is a problematic condition because it impacts both the body and mind. When you have a sedentary lifestyle, you’re at a higher risk of experiencing a mental health issue. A review identified a connection between inactivity and an increased risk of depression.
How can you fight sedentarism before it affects your health?
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent and fight this daunting condition. As you can expect, the first step is to shrug off laziness, but because sometimes it’s challenging to change your routine, here are some recommendations that can help you to make the effort it requires to live a healthy life.
Develop active hobbies
Finding joy in the activities you perform keeps you active and motivates you to kill sedentarism from your schedule.
Become a runner
You’ve never thought about yourself as a runner, but it’s never too late to develop a new habit. The thought of going for a run in the park may intimidate you because you have the misconception you need to run a marathon or keep up with the other runners. But remember, everyone was once a beginner who walked more than ran. In the beginning, run slow for 5 or 10 minutes, and day by day, you’ll notice how your fitness level improves, and you run faster and for longer distances.
Also, there are several ways of running; you can run outdoors in the local park or on a trail close to the city. Or you can run around the town, but in this case, you need to create a route to avoid crowded areas. And if you don’t feel confident to go outdoors just yet, buy a treadmill and install it in the comfort of your living room. When you purchase a treadmill, you can also get other fitness equipment to improve your home workout.
Supposing you don’t have money for this purpose, you can get home equity loans Canada created for freelancers who need finances to support their work from home. In your case, buying fitness equipment is a necessity because it improves your health and performance.
Plant a garden
Having a garden keeps you busy, and if you don’t trust our word, just ask your grandparents how much physical effort is involved in this kind of activity. Gardening is spiritually and mentally stimulating, and if you love to spend time outdoors soaking in the sun, you may find it an enjoyable way to stay active. Gardening is a moderate-intensity physical activity that can boost your health when done regularly.
Start a garden in your backyard if you have space. And if you don’t, there are many ways to get your hands dirty. Ask your parents or grandparents if they need help with caring for their patio. Also, you can volunteer with a local organization to plant new trees at the community garden. Schools and nature centers are always looking for volunteers willing to help them care outdoors spaces.
As a freelancer, your job requires you to stand in front of the laptop for hours, working hard to meet your deadlines. But even if you’re practically glued to your computer, remember to stand up every 20 minutes and have a few steps around the room. At first, you may need a reminder, so set up an alarm on your smartphone. It helps you detach from your project, stand up to stretch your limbs, and help your body stay active.
Standing up doesn’t necessarily imply interrupting your workflow; you can check email, review your progress or review the printed files while you stretch.
Change your workstation
It would help if you also change your workstation for one that allows you to transform the desk into a standing one, so you can work standing when you feel pain in your back. Standing workstations are a better ergonomic fit because they reduce backaches and improve your posture. Another way to remove some of the pressure the chair puts on your back is to use a fitness ball seat because it promotes physical activity and engages your core.
Advances make your life easier, but they also support the sedentary lifestyle because they don’t require too much effort on your part. But it would help if you made a conscious effort to fight sedentarism because it can prove fatal for your health.