What is considered a sedentary lifestyle?
From the COVID-19 lockdown to now I gained 6 kilos. I try to lose them, but as a digital nomad, I have to spend at least 6 hours a day in front of my computer. I don’t exercise, maybe I walk from time to time, but I don’t have an intense activity that would help me burn all the calories consumed during the day. I’m an inactive person, and I locked myself in a sedentary lifestyle. If you recognize yourself, in my words, let’s see what cost us setting almost the whole day.
What is a sedentary lifestyle?
A sedentary or inactive lifestyle is a way of living with many sitting and lying down and very low energy expenditure activities. Insufficient physical activity is known to contribute to the death of approximately 3.2 million people every year. So spending a lot of time watching TV, playing video games, sitting at a desk, or commuting by cars or buses exposes us to serious health risks.
What are the consequences of a sedentary lifestyle?
If you are inactive, you gain weight, lose muscle strength, your immune system gets weaker, and you may develop a hormonal imbalance. All these reactions facilitate the development of a lot of diseases:
Heart attack, obesity, high blood pressure and cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and finally, certain cancers, including colon, breast, and uterine cancers.
What are the mental health risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle?
In many articles, you will find that a sedentary lifestyle is highly associated with depression and anxiety. I want to share this scientific paper that differentiates between a mentally passive sedentary lifestyle and a mentally active sedentary lifestyle. Examples of mentally passive activities are watching TV or talking while sitting. On the other hand, a mentally active, sedentary lifestyle integrates activities like reading books, working on a computer, or knitting. According to the paper, only mentally passive sedentary lifestyle can lead to depression or mental health disorders. So if you are using your brain while you are sitting, good news you wouldn’t get depressed, but you can develop diabetes 😀
How could I change?
Slowly with baby steps! If you were inactive for a long time, I wouldn’t recommend you to start with bodybuilding 🙂 just walk! Use a fitness tracker or your phone and try to reach 10.000 steps a day. In my case, I walk 10.000 steps a day, only twice a week. My objective is to reach that target every day. Maybe I should involve my kids in this project and go with them, after school, for a long walk. That would be great for all of us.
There are many tips on the internet on how to be more active, but sincerely I wouldn’t tell you tips that you already know, like taking stairs instead of elevator 🙂 and I wouldn’t recommend tips that I didn’t try. So, I will enrich this post as I go along with tips that I will have personally tested. Concerning overweight, I have tried intermittent fasting for a while. It gave me good results, but I gave up as I couldn’t private myself for a long period! Maybe we should discuss overweight in another post, so stay tuned!