Health & Fitness

Link Between Sedentary Lifestyle and Obesity

If you live in the 21st century then you can't escape a lifestyle that involves a lot of sitting and...


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I f you live in the 21st century then you can't escape a lifestyle that involves a lot of sitting and laying down with little to no activity. However, there have been many studies that indicate a link between a sedentary lifestyle and obesity. Let us tell you why it’s important to know about this topic. 

Can a Sedentary Lifestyle Cause Harm?

If you’re a regular office worker, chances are your job entails sitting for long periods. Standing up occasionally just to grab some tea or walking here and there to break the monotony. You might be wondering: “can sitting all day long or being inactive cause that much harm?”. 

An analysis of 13 pieces of research, found that sitting time and activity levels showed that people who sat for more than eight hours a day with no physical exercise had a risk of dying equivalent to those who were obese or smoked. So it’s safe to say that a sedentary lifestyle can cause serious damage to one’s health and in extreme cases, even death.

Sedentary Lifestyle and Obesity

The world we live in now has been designed for a sedentary lifestyle. Whether you’re at work, school, or at home watching Netflix, you're probably sitting. Standing or moving requires significantly more energy than sitting or resting down. 

This is why office employees can burn up to 1,000 fewer calories per day than farmers, and the fewer calories you burn, the more likely you are to gain weight. This is why sedentary behavior and obesity are so strongly connected. Obese people sit for an average of two hours longer each day than persons of normal weight, according to this study.

Obesity and Heart Disease

A sedentary lifestyle can be a major contributor to obesity. But, do you know that obesity can cause a host of other problems as well?

Obesity raises the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Being overweight might cause fatty deposits to form in your arteries, increasing the risks of cardiovascular diseases such as strokes, heart attacks, abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias), Coronary artery disease, etc. 

Obesity and Diabetes

When you have obesity, the insulin trying to move glucose in your cells faces resistance from them. Normally, your liver is supposed to store excess glucose, but when you’re obese, it’s instead, filled with fat, leaving no space for glucose to be stored. 

This results in glucose remaining in your bloodstream with nowhere to go. So, in response, your body tries to fight the resistance by creating even more insulin, thereby overworking the pancreas and in turn, creating less and less insulin. As a result, diabetes develops and then quickly worsens if the fat resistance remains. 

There was a study that linked physical inactivity and obesity with insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes mellitus.

A Sedentary Lifestyle Can Kill You

According to a study done by the European Society of Cardiology, a sedentary lifestyle for two decades is linked to a two-fold increased risk of early mortality as compared to a physically active lifestyle.

How to Escape a Sedentary Lifestyle

After reading all about the possible dangers of a sedentary lifestyle like chronic health issues, mental health disorders, and early mortality, you’ll probably be pondering the question: “How can I escape?”. Well, lucky for you, the answer is simple.

Increasing Physical Activity

Physical activity, such as exercise and sports, has indeed been demonstrated in studies to lower the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and premature mortality. 

Combining a range of cardio training, such as jogging or cycling, with strength-training exercises, such as weight training or body-weight exercises, is the greatest way to get the most out of your workout. To satisfy the minimal physical activity standards, go for at least three 30-minute runs and two 30-minute bouts of strength-training activities per week.

Decrease Inactivity 

You can do that by getting a standing desk, walking to work or walking to lunch while at work, taking the stairs instead of the lift, and stretching every few hours. When you’re at home, do chores standing up, exercise lightly when watching something on tv, and walk around when you take a phone call.

Many people do not reach the recommended levels of physical exercise and are in danger of acquiring health problems as a result of spending too much time inactive. People can lessen the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle and obesity by increasing their physical activity and using the measures outlined above to limit the amount of time they spend sitting.