You may be asking yourself 'what is a sedentary lifestyle?'. If this question is one you have been pondering for some time, then today, you have stumbled upon a stroke of luck.
Regardless, it is undoubtedly important to ensure you are not living this kind of life as it can have a serious detrimental impact on your physical and mental wellbeing.
What is a Sedentary Lifestyle?
A sedentary lifestyle is a term used to describe a life that consists of little to no physical activity. In other words, if you are living this type of lifestyle, you are not participating in the required amount of regular exercise as defined by the World Health Organisation and the Centre for Disease Control.
What are the advised amounts of physical activity we hear you ask? Well, you should be partaking in 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of high impact routines.
Doctors, nutritionists and other health experts recommend walking 10,000 steps a day (equivalent to 5 miles or 8 kilometres) to reduce the negative impacts of inactivity.
Now, what are the consequences of a sedentary lifestyle? Don't worry, all will be revealed...
Consequences of Being Inactive
Living a sedentary life causes major longterm side effects on your health — and not just physical ones either, your mental state will be affected too.
Specifically, inactivity has been proven to contribute to:
- increased risk of some cancer types (bowel, breast, womb)
- heightened symptoms of anxiety and depression
- development of cardiovascular diseases
- weight gain and obesity
- decreased skeletal muscle mass (this is commonly seen in people who have desk jobs)
- high blood pressure
- inflated cholesterol levels
- type 2 diabetes
- shorter lifestyle
As you can see, it is vital to avoid this lifestyle type. If this sounds daunting, do not fret, we have your back.
How Can You Avoid a Sedentary Life?
Luckily, there are many tips (yes, starting small) that will massively improve your health and start you on your path to an active, healthy lifestyle.
1. Standing On Your Commute
If you take public transport to your workplace, try standing next time instead of sitting. See, we said we were starting small!
Even if you don't ride a bus or train to your job, the next time you do find yourself on this transport type, give standing a go.
2. Walking to Work
Do you normally drive even though you could walk if you left a little bit earlier? Yes? Then dot it! Trust us, it will have overwhelmingly positive effects on your overall health.
3. Taking Walks on Your Lunch Break
Similar to walking to work but far more doable if it's impossible for you to travel on foot to your office.
4. Standing Desk
If your job means you are sat at a desk for 8 hours a day, it's understandably hard to get your daily activity in. However, you can ask your company to provide a standing desk for you — essentially, this is a higher table so you can stand up to type.
5. Take the Stairs
Shopping centres, office blocks, apartment buildings and hotels all have the option of stairs, lifts or escalators. You may choose one of the latter two options (especially if you're in a rush) but attempt to take the stairs next time to subtly increase your activity level and up your daily step count.
6. Clean the House
Surprisingly, cleaning and doing chores around the house such as washing up, laundry, mopping, tidying and lots more is a great way to move your body and tick things off of your to-do list.
7. Walk Around During Ads
We all like to watch a bit of TV in the evenings after a long day working, but this only adds to our inactivity! However, when the adverts come on, get up and wander around instead of skipping them.
Of course, there are other easy, small changes you can make to avoid a sedentary life but, there are larger efforts you can make if you are really serious about how to live a healthy lifestyle.
How to Start and Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
Aside from the obvious diet and sleep factor, there are various good lifestyle habits you can add to your weekly routine to start and maintain a healthier way of living.
1. Just START
Honestly, you have to just start. Not tomorrow, not the next day, but right now!
What do we mean by start? Just do the tips we have already spoken about above and you have begun your health journey.
In the morning (preferably) participate in 5 to 10 minutes of various stretches. You don't have to follow a video or go to the gym or anything like that, just stretch in whatever way feels good for your body.
3. Light Exercise Regime
Whether that is walking, jogging, short bouts of swimming, dancing or even yoga — anything that raises your heart rate a tad and gets you moving!
Top tip: Find something you truly enjoy doing so you won't feel like it's a chore to do it.
4. Drink Water
Although not physical activity, your gradually increasing movement levels mean you will need to ensure you are hydrating regularly — more than you should be regardless!
5. Eat Fruits and Vegetables
Similarly to drinking water, you must fuel your body with nutritious, vitamin-packed foods so you can maintain your new-found healthy lifestyle.
6. Switch it Up
As you become used to your exercise regime, adapt it to suit your everchanging needs. You'll find you can boost the intensity of your workouts over time too, so you are constantly becoming stronger.
Now you have had your 'what is a sedentary lifestyle' question answered, and we have provided you with some tips and tricks on how to avoid this type of life, thus moving towards a healthier way of living, you can fly away and be content in a brand-new state of mental happiness and physical wellbeing.