7 Long-Term Effects of a Sedentary Lifestyle
Your WFH routine may be affecting your health. Discover the long-term effects of a sedentary lifestyle and why you should start exercising more.
Who would've thought working from home would go from necessity to norm? Gone are the days of getting up early to go to work. Many have traded their daily commutes for a mere shuffle from bed to desk – and in sweatpants, no less! But behind this newfound freedom lurks a formidable foe: the sedentary lifestyle. It seems the more people telecommute, the lazier and more prone they are to its long-term effects. If you're reading this during your WFH break, listen up before it's too late.
The Dangers of a Sedentary Lifestyle
A sedentary lifestyle is characterized by a daily routine with little to no exercise – and over six hours of sitting or lying down. Sounds familiar? That's because the average office worker spends their day in front of the computer, then unwinds by watching TV before bed. It's a routine countless have fallen into, but not without health risks. Here's what you need to look out for.
It can lead to vein-related issues.
Sitting for hours can slow your blood flow, resulting in vein-related issues. The most common problems are varicose, spider veins, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), or superficial vein thrombosis (SVT). Among these concerns, DVT can become life-threatening when the clots travel to the lungs and block blood flow.
Keep your veins healthy by taking breaks throughout your workday. During your lunch break, do a few stretches to help relieve soreness and tension. When you can, sweat it out for at least 15 minutes with a quick walk or run. Freshen up after with a shower and change into clean clothes.
It can increase your blood pressure.
Is your annoying coworker or your tight deadline causing your blood pressure to spike? Whichever the case, staying sedentary won’t do you any good. High blood pressure pushes your heart to work harder. Maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle is an excellent way to regulate your BP.
It puts you at risk of developing diabetes.
Snacking on your favorite sweets and chugging on sodas aren’t the only habits that can lead to diabetes. Few realize that sedentary behavior also makes you susceptible by altering how insulin regulates your blood sugar and metabolism. These changes can result in insulin resistance and lead to diabetes in inactive individuals, .
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It makes you susceptible to heart disease.
Furnishing your workstation with top-of-the-line equipment can improve your productivity. However, that too-comfortable ergonomic chair may be the reason you’re now too lazy to get up. Sedentary positions slow blood flow, allowing fatty acids to build up in the blood vessels. Though there are many causes of cardiovascular illnesses, insufficient movement is a major contributing factor.
A simple solution to help get your blood pumping is to switch to a standing desk. While you're at it, get those 10,000 steps by walking in place as you complete your tasks.
It puts you on the road to obesity.
Physical education teaches everyone that the more you move, the more calories you burn. Unfortunately, the rise of remote jobs has made adults move less and less, especially during their free time. If you’re experiencing unintended weight gain, then it’s time to get your backside off the couch! Jumpstart your fitness journey with to help you limber up. Go slow because shedding those pounds will take time.
It is associated with certain types of cancer.
It’s hard to associate prolonged sitting and inactivity with the big C. But a proves a direct correlation between a sedentary lifestyle and certain types of cancer in men. Data shows an increased risk of colon, prostate, and lung cancer. Help decrease your risk of getting these diseases by leading an active life. On your days off, jump out of bed to do chores or head to the gym and get those gains.
It can worsen mental health issues.
Constant activity produces serotonin, a mood-enhancing brain chemical. Decreased physical exertion means less serotonin is released, leaving you feeling down and . When these feelings surface, managing your mental health can become challenging and issues such as stress, depression, and anxiety arise.
Fortunately, you can learn how to manage stress and improve overall well-being. Start by finding ways to boost your serotonin. Participate in or sign up for fun during your spare time. Look for enjoyable pursuits that will melt stressors away.
Human bodies require regular physical movement to stay healthy. While this doesn't imply daily gym visits, it does highlight the importance of leaving the sedentary lifestyle behind. What are you still sitting around for? Find an activity you enjoy and get your sweat on!