A sedentary lifestyle is a lifestyle involving little or no physical activity, with very low energy expenditure. A person with a sedentary lifestyle spends a lot of time sitting or lying, while using their mobile phone or computer, working at their desk, reading, commuting, watching television and playing computer consoles games.
Sedentary lifestyles can contribute to many preventable chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes, as well as weight gain and obesity, and has also been linked with some types of cancer, including breast and colon cancer.
Individuals who lead a sedentary lifestyle are also appear to be at higher risk of developing a mental health disorder.
Physical inactivity has been identified as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality accounting for 6% of deaths globally. Recommended types and intensity of physical activity vary depending on age and overall health.
It is recommended that young people aged 5 to 18 years accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity daily physical activity. They should engage in aerobic activity every day, and more vigorous muscle and bone strengthening activates three times per week.
Adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week, or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of both. Muscle-strengthening activities should be done involving major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week. When older adults cannot do the recommended amounts of physical activity due to health conditions, they should be as physically active as their abilities and conditions allow.
Regardless of age, anyone who is physically inactive will benefit from an increase in physical activity. However, while physical activity is crucial, spending the rest of the day being sedentary is posing a health risk. Even if you exercise for 30 minutes a day, you may not be counteracting the effects of sedentary behaviour throughout the rest of your day.
It is vital that more movement is incorporated into the day overall, there are many simple ways to accomplish this, both at home or in the work environment, without it causing much inconvenience in your daily schedule.
In many ways our environment and modern world is designed for sitting. While relaxing is beneficial, it is vital to reduce the time spent sitting during the day, while also incorporating adequate physical activity into your routine. No time like the present!