Sedentary Lifestyle Health Risk

What Is Sedentary Disease

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Sedentary lifestyle health risk

Sedentary disease – commonly known as sitting disease. The sedentary lifestyle health risk is a rapidly growing issue in today’s world. General activity level in today’s society is decreasing thanks to computers, automation, and especially during the Covid-19 pandemic a growing tendency to work from home

Sedentary Lifestyle Health Risks

▪ High risk for overweight and obesity
High blood pressure
Type 2 diabetes
High cholesterol
▪ Premature death related to the conditions listed above.
▪ With limited movement, muscle tone can be diminished leading to worsening health
▪ Spending hours sitting in the same position can also lead to problems in posture
▪ Back problems related to being stationary

How Sedentary Disease Is One Of The Leading Causes Of Life­Threatening Diseases

In this day and age, it’s highly likely you find yourself in the sitting position for most of the day. But did you know that living a sedentary lifestyle is a leading cause of a number of life­threatening diseases? No matter what your profession is, doctors all over the globe agree that it’s time to start moving or face dire consequences.

How Does Sitting Affect Health?

The physical body wasn’t built to take a seat all day. If you engage in more than 8 hours of sitting, this starts to cause serious damage to your circulatory system. According to Dr. Erin Michos at Hopkins Medicine, once you hit 10 hours or more of sitting per day, your risk of cardiovascular disease increases dramatically. As does your risk of dying from a stroke, this is because your heart isn’t working that hard to pump the blood in your body when you sit.

And it’s not just your heart that suffers. When you sit all day, your muscles relax, and when this happens, they absorb very little glucose from your blood, scientists at Harvard Health have found this to be a leading cause of diabetes. Sitting for long periods of time can also lead to a high risk of obesity, which comes with a whole host of additional chronic diseases that could ultimately lead to death.

But I Work Out Half An Hour A Day?

Unfortunately, Dr. Erin Michos says exercising for thirty minutes each day, then sitting the other 23 and a half hours isn’t going to save you from the sedentary-related disease. Although high-level exercise has been shown in some studies to lower the risks of sedentary disease, this was only true in studies where the test subjects completed 60 to 75 minutes of high-intensity activity per day. And this is a lot of exercise to squeeze into a busy work and social life.

Dr. Michos advises wearing a fitness tracker. Even if you work out each morning, you may be surprised to find that you spend the rest of the day sedentary, and don’t make the recommended 10,000 steps a day even with your workout. So, instead of trying to make your workout longer and harder, Dr. Michos says it’s simply easier to try and become less sedentary.

What Can I Do?

Well first of all, in order to lower your risk of sedentary-related diseases, it’s important to get up and get moving whenever you can. Of course, this can be difficult depending on your profession. This is why the doctors at Mayo Clinic recommend trying out a standing desk if this is something your boss will allow.

And if it isn’t allowed in your workplace, even just standing while you talk on the phone or watch TV can help lower the number of hours you are sitting per day.

You can also take a timed break for every hour that you sit. The doctors at Harvard Health recommend setting a timer for this so you don’t forget. Also, try to schedule walking meetings, walk to visit coworkers instead of calling, and plan active meetups with friends. Overall, no matter how you look at it, living a life where you spend your entire day sedentary is bad for your health.

And although you may work out for half an hour a day, this oftentimes isn’t enough to cancel out 8 or 10 hours of sitting. This is why it is critically important that you make every effort in your life to spend more time standing or walking to lower your chances of developing a chronic health condition.

Disease 101

Sedentary disease, which is more commonly referred to as sitting disease, maybe a rapidly growing issue in today’s world. According to WebMD, in a society that’s increasingly geared to convenience and labor-saving, many of us are finding ourselves in an unhealthy situation.

The general activity level in today’s society is decreasing because of computers, automation, and particularly during the Covid­19 pandemic a growing tendency to figure from home.

What Causes Sedentary Disease?

The biggest contributing factor to sedentary disease is the length of time we spend daily in a seated position. If we commute, we are likely seated either on conveyance or in our own cars.

Many people find the need to sit at their desk for hours and you would find the standing very infrequently. Outside of labor many of us believe in labor-saving methods to order groceries and run other errands.

With banking apps, we seldom find ourselves getting to the bank, and with shopping sites, we frequently have to walk no further than our front entrance to gather the things we ordered. Essentially, a physical simple lifestyle increases the risks to our health. Video gaming and TV watching are more popular than ever, leaving us sitting ahead of a screen for hours at a time.

Sedentary lifestyle health risks

What Are the Dangers of Sedentary Disease?

According to the Mayo Clinic, once we sit for long periods of time, we use far less energy than we might while standing and traveling. Sitting for long periods of time causes several health concerns such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity,  and elevated cholesterol.

With limited movement weight gain and obesity may be a real possibility and muscular tonus are often diminished resulting in worsening health concerns. Spending hours sitting in the same position also can cause problems in posture as back issues are associated with being stationary.

Why We Need to Move

We require physical activity on a daily basis in order to help us remain both mentally and physically healthy in a number of different ways. Obesity has caused many health issues and one of the ways we may control our weight is through exercise and diet, with emphasis on exercise. This is the best way to burn calories. body weight by allowing us to burn the calories that we consume from our daily food intake.

This can mean working out or simply finding time to maneuver around at a sedentary job. Getting healthy exercise staves off medical conditions which if left unaddressed can cause serious long­term issues. Getting exercise releases chemicals within the brain that actually help improve your mood.

Exercise not only helps you feel more energetic but also helps you get more restful sleep in the dark. When you use your energy during the day this will help you to be more relaxed in the evening.

How To Avoid Sedentary Disease

Some people’s lifestyles make it difficult to exercise and avoid long periods during a seated position. However, there are some tips that will be helpful in limiting the time during a seated position which may have an excellent impact on protecting your health.

Get some sort of movement a day, where you walk, play sports, or run together with your dog, the purpose is to urge up and move. Walk around your house for 5 minutes every 2 hours.

Watch less TV and play fewer video games. Try to stand for a few minutes every 30 minutes even if it is just at your desk. If you get a call that doesn’t require you to be seated rise up and walk around the room while you talk.

Use a standing desk at work which allows you to figure standing for a few of the day. If you can’t get outside to steer, invest in a simple treadmill so you’ll get in some exercise during some time reception.

Sedentary Behavior and Metabolic Syndrome

The Mayo Clinic defines metabolic syndrome as a cluster of separate conditions that amass to cause other more serious complaints. Conditions such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and high cholesterol alone are concerning.

When you have them all together at the same time you likely suffer from metabolic syndrome. Those who suffer from metabolic syndrome are more likely to develop heart disease and diabetes which, if left untreated, can become very serious.

In terms of symptoms, there are few noticeable signs of the syndrome beyond a large waistline. Many people may not even realize there is a problem until they develop symptoms of diabetes or heart disease. Diet plays a major role in the development of metabolic syndrome meaning unhealthy eating habits should be avoided. Another potential contributor is a sedentary lifestyle as inactivity combined with a poor diet can be very harmful.

 Sedentary Behavior and Blood Pressure

According to family doctor, Jennifer Horton maintaining healthy blood pressure is more than just avoiding salt, exercise is also very important. Even low levels of daily exercise can make a noticeable difference in your blood.

Walking, swimming, and yoga are all great fun ways to gain exercise with the American Heart Association suggesting at least 150 minutes of exercise a week. A sedentary lifestyle will lead to an increase in weight and a decrease in blood vessel circulation strength.

These combined can cause blood pressure to increase which adds additional stress to the circulatory system. Some form of regular aerobic exercise can shave around 5 points from the systolic blood pressure reading and up to 3 from the diastolic number.

Sedentary Behavior and High Blood Sugar

Conditions such as type 2 diabetes are often caused by consistently high blood sugar levels. Ideally, the sugar levels in the blood should be taken into the cells and used for energy but this can often not be the case in a sedentary lifestyle. According to WebMD exercise is very important to help cells deal with insulin more efficiently and let the cells take in the glucose (sugar) to be burned for energy.

A great way to see the benefit of exercise with regard to blood sugar is to test your blood with a glucose monitor right before and directly after your workout. This is a great way to fine-tune your workout needs because you are looking for a healthy drop from your workout and you do not want to risk your blood sugar dipping too low.

High Cholesterol and Sedentary Lifestyle

Although there is no defined connection between regular exercise and a decrease in cholesterol WebMD suggests that weight control does play a key part. Maintaining a healthy weight is thought to help minimize the bad cholesterol found in the bloodstream. Those who rarely exercise and eat a bad diet will gain weight and are more prone to dangerously high cholesterol.

It is generally thought that 30 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous exercise can help maintain weight and decrease cholesterol. This exercise also may raise the levels of the so-called good cholesterol. The level of exercise required is generally more vigorous than a slow walk so for some it may require building up to more aerobic type workouts.

How to Avoid A sedentary Lifestyle

▪ Get some type of movement every day, whether you walk, play sports, or run with your dog, the point is to get up and move.
▪ Walk around your house for 5 minutes every 2 hours.
▪ Watch less TV and play fewer video games.
▪ Try to stand for a few minutes every 30 minutes even if it is just at your desk.
▪ If you get a phone call that does not require you to be seated get up and walk around the room while you talk.
▪ Use a standing desk at work which allows you to work standing for some of the days.
▪ If you cannot get outside to walk, invest in a simple treadmill so you can get in some exercise during your time at home.

Several companies have incorporated, “The Standing Desk”, which is something you may want to consider if you spend several hours at your home computer.

Final Thoughts

Sedentary diseases are often difficult to avoid but it’s important to try to do whatever you can to counteract the condition. We must not allow ourselves to use our jobs or the convenience of an automatic world to act as an excuse to not get exercise.

Living a sedentary lifestyle can cause excess fat to accumulate around the waist, an increase in blood sugar, high blood pressure, and high levels of bad cholesterol. These things combine to cause metabolic syndrome and ultimately can lead to heart damage and diabetes. It is therefore important to break out from the lazy lifestyle and get regular exercise.

Please read, “Sitting is the New Smoking”, for more helpful information


Metabolic-syndrome. Sedentary lifestyle health risk

Diabetes sugar control. Sedentary lifestyle health risk

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4 thoughts on “Sedentary Lifestyle Health Risk”

  1. Oh my, thank you for this very informative article. I have never heard of this disease before but it definitely can cause some serious illnesses. I do work from home for quite a while now and I do tend to sit a lot. I exercise 3 times a week but I have realized now that I will definitely have to move around more often. Thank you so much!

    • Hi Jean,

      Thank you for your comments. Glad to hear you exercise 3 times a week. It would be nice if you take stand-up breaks while doing your work. Stand-up desks are becoming quite popular.

      All the best,


  2. Hi Michael. Thank you for another important article. I’ve got sitting job (and due to pandemic spending in house more time then ever) and unfortunately I see in myself lot of bad habits and risks you mentioned in you post. I do try to exercise but its not always easy to find time between work and home duties. Yet, looking on list of illnesses and health problems related, definitely I need to try harder.

    • Hi Cogito,

      Thank you for your comments. Yes, it is hard to find time for exercise, but it is so very essential. It is all about living a balanced life.

      All the best,



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