Why Living a Sedentary Lifestyle Might be Putting your Health at Risk

Not Getting Enough Physical Activity is a Major Cause of Chronic Disease that Comes with High Health and Financial Costs

It’s easy to fall victim to a sedentary lifestyle when much of your daily activities involve little to no physical effort on your part. Think about how much sitting you do in a day: sitting at the breakfast table, sitting for your commute to work, sitting at your desk job for eight hours and then sitting on the couch at the end of a long work day to relax. That’s a lot of sitting. What we aren’t thinking about in these moments is how unhealthy all this inactivity is for us.

According to the World Health Organization, one in four adults aren’t moving enough. Thanks in part to the convenience of modern technology and an increase number of sedentary jobs, we’re becoming more inactive than ever. The American Heart Association found that only 20% of the current workforce have physically active jobs. Plus, sedentary jobs have increased by 83% since 1950. Sedentary lifestyles are becoming increasingly widespread and a serious health issue. So much sitting around can lead to many health risks.

How does leading an inactive lifestyle put your health at risk?
Living an inactive lifestyle affects your body in several ways including weight gain, bone loss, negative impact on your mental health, poor immune support and blood circulation. Most importantly, physical inactivity or lack of exercise is one of the major causes of many chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke or diabetes. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), six in ten adults in the US have a chronic disease and four in ten adults have two or more. Not getting enough physical activity comes with high health and financial costs. Chronic diseases are conditions that generally require ongoing medical attention making them the leading drivers of the nation’s $3.5 trillion in annual health care costs. When you live an inactive lifestyle, you raise your risk for the following:

  • Heart diseases including heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

How to Start Moving Towards an Active Lifestyle?
If you are not getting enough physical activity in your day, it’s not too late to change and significantly reduce your risk of chronic health conditions and premature death. Make a conscious effort. Whether you are stuck behind a desk all day or just struggling to get motivated for exercise, here are just a few ways to help you get moving at work and during your leisure time.

Increase Your Physical Activity at Home and at Work
If you have been inactive, start off slow and add more exercise gradually. If you have a health condition, we recommend you speak to your doctor before you start any new physical activities. Try not to feel overwhelmed. Remind yourself that getting some exercise is always better than getting none. Work to reach a goal or use the CDC recommended amount of exercise guidelines.Ways to be more active at work:

  • Go for a walk in the parking lot or around your office complex. Ask a co-worker to join you that shares your passion to get fit for additional support.  
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Stand up periodically while at your desk. Find out if your company will invest in a stand-up desk that allows you to adjust the height, so you sit or stand throughout the day.
  • Get up from your chair and move around your office building
  • During you break or lunch hour, commit to getting out of the office to walk around or run errands allowing you to be active.
  • Instead of sending an email or calling a co-worker, walk to their office and have a face-to-face chat.

Ways to be more active at home:

  • Stretch during commercial breaks
  • Go for a walk or light run in your neighborhood
  • Invest in some less exercise equipment such as hand weights, exercise mats, yoga balls and stretch bands to start your own workout.
  • Try a physical activity tracker. If you’re already using WellSpark Health to track your daily movements then you know how helpful they are to boost your motivation to work out which in turn makes you healthier.
  • Household chores, gardening and yardwork can also help with physical activity. Try doing them at a vigorous pace.

These are just some ways you can incorporate more physical activities in your daily routine. There are many ways to get exercise but only you can determine what method works best for you. Keep reminding yourself that getting some exercise is always better than getting none.  

Start Feeling the Benefits of Physical Activity
Make physical activity a priority. Incorporating physical activity into your daily routine will improve your quality of life in addition to lowering your risk of chronic diseases.  Physical activity and exercise can have immediate and long-term benefits.  You’ll start to feel better and have a healthier state of mind.

  • Manage and lose weight
  • Reduce your risk for Type 2 diabetes and heart disease
  • Lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Lift your mood and get better sleep
  • Increase your ability to perform everyday activities
  • Improve your cognitive thinking skill

To learn more tips and information, contact WellSpark Health at 1-877-224-7350 or [email protected].