Is Sitting The New Smoking?
Now first off let me just say that the above is just a title, I am in no way, shape or form a doctor, I am simply just here to bring you the effects of being stationary and the facts of what it can do to the body plus your physique.
So what does it mean to be sedentary? Well your daily activity can be broken down into a number of different categories. It all starts with sedentary, the least active, moves to lightly active and if we skip a few the table will finish at highly active. Sedentary is when you are at your least active and typically it is dangerous.
People that are likely to be sedentary are those in desk jobs, those that work sitting down or in fact those that don’t have a job. Being sedentary involves large periods of sitting down, long lie ins and typically as we’ve said those behind the desk jobs. Driving to the shops that are around the corner, parking close to the doors at the supermarket and letting your dog run on a treadmill are all examples of what a sedentary person would do. Yes as shocking as it is i have heard of people walking there dogs on a treadmill! Head in hand moment.
Below we will look at the problems with this and how it may effect not only your health but any weight loss/physique goals you may have.
Humans are creatures of movement, throughout time we have been known to do some of the most wonderful things with our bodies. Olympians have fought for gold medals, thousands of years ago we were fighting and killing for food, our bodies are indeed survival machines, we are meant to be challenged and we are not meant to sit down for long periods. The one thing us humans have in common, is we all have the ability in some capacity to be active. It doesn’t matter what you do, how you decide to exercise, so long as we are doing it. Being active is our ticket to long term health.
So what happens if we do stop moving? Well first off, those that are inactive and those that become less active are likely to gain weight. Just because we slow down it is still likely that our bodies want for food isn’t going to change. We will still crave food and ultimately we will find ourselves consuming food on a similar level to before. This will lead to increases in weight, fat and also our general health could go in the opposite direction.
As we’ve said your health could also take a dive, moving and exercising keeps us fit and healthy. Not only we will be prone to gain weight/fat, over time with a lack of activity you will lose fitness, your health will start to decline and if you keep it up longer term you can open yourself up to a whole host of unwanted illnesses. These illnesses are very vast, such things like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure are all very common.
So where as smoking causes a whole host of problems, so does being inactive. The scary thing is the fact that most people don’t even know the fact that they are inactive, people are generally unaware that they do not do enough exercise. My advice would be to evaluate your lifestyle, do you do any exercise? How often do you go for a walk? How many steps do you accumulate over the course of a day?
The fact is you do not need to exercise 5 / 6 days a week. A couple of times each week will suffice so long as you are not sat on your backside for the rest of the time. Aim for 10,000 steps every day, even if you can’t afford a watch with the functionality of a step counter, there are plenty of apps ready made on all of our phones. Nowadays there is simply no excuse to not exercise but some of us still don’t. The side effects to not doing so are detrimental, not only to your health but also your mental well-being and physique. So the take away message is simple, get out there, exercise, explore and reap the rewards of an active lifestyle! Because at the end of the day, our health, well-being and fitness is one thing we can all have a huge say in.
David Clayton Charlesworth