One lesson on the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle I’ll never forget was a meeting I had at a company boardroom with the CFO, he was telling us how he’s been married for 12 years but he just had his
first child 6 years ago and that was because one of his doctors recommended to him that his many hours of sitting was probably one of the reasons for their inability to have a child, so his doctor told
him to take ice packs cushions to the office and then put them on his seat and sit on them to cool his lower regions whenever he sat down and when he tried that out and they were able to have their
first child and this just showed me that so many of the reasons for the troubles we have from life expectancy, infertility, strokes, diabetes, to heart conditions are due to our lifestyle choices.
One of the reasons is a sedentary lifestyle. We spend anywhere from 5 to 10 hours a day sitting.
Let’s do the math: we spend anything between 1 and 4 hours in traffic every day, and we spend between 3 and 6 hours sitting down. we’re looking at between 4 and 10 hours a day sitting down.
That’s a lot, and if you look at the history of mankind, there has never really been any period apart from this century and maybe the last one where humans sat for this long.
Effects of a sedentary lifestyle on human health
A sedentary lifestyle refers to a lack of physical activity and exercise, and it can have several negative effects on human health. Some of the effects of a sedentary lifestyle on human health include:
Increased risk of obesity: A sedentary lifestyle can lead to weight gain and obesity, as physical activity helps to burn calories and maintain a healthy weight.
Increased risk of cardiovascular disease: Lack of exercise can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and an increased risk of heart disease.
Increased risk of type 2 diabetes: A sedentary lifestyle can lead to insulin resistance and an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Increased risk of certain types of cancer: Physical activity can help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, such as colon, breast, and lung cancer.
Increased risk of depression and anxiety: Exercise has been shown to improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, so a lack of exercise can lead to an increased risk of these conditions.
Decreased bone density: Regular weight-bearing exercise helps to build and maintain bone density, so a sedentary lifestyle can lead to decreased bone density and an increased risk of osteoporosis.
Decreased muscle strength and flexibility: Lack of physical activity can lead to decreased muscle strength and flexibility, which can increase the risk of falls and injuries.
It’s important to note that even small amounts of physical activity can have significant health benefits. Incorporating regular exercise and physical activity into daily routines can help mitigate the
negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle on human health.
I have written an earlier article on the dangers of long hours in traffic holdups on human health and covered some solutions that I believe, over time, we should be able to implement for the benefit of
all. I hope HR organizations all over the world are looking at ways to improve our home-to-work commute options. I believe a hybrid system is best suited for the cities in which we live, and for the
periods in which we spend in the office, I will suggest you take breaks and try and spend as much time as you can stand up.
One of the ceremonies in scrum is called Daily Stand-Up, which is a 15-minute meeting whereby the team gets together and discusses what they are working on, what they worked on yesterday, and
what impediments exist. It’s done standing up. I think we should have more meetings standing up if possible, and certain executives have standing desks. We need to incorporate these habits of taking
breaks from long periods of sitting down and getting up and walking around, just generally having as much time as we can standing up and walking, which is what our bodies are built for.
We know what the impact of financial and job stress is on health and that loneliness can hasten death, particularly for old people.
Now we know what a sedentary lifestyle is doing to heart disease, stroke, and cancer trends before we blame arthritis, joint pain, knee pain, back pain, etc. on getting older. Let’s evaluate our lifestyles,
the sugars and refined foods we eat that create inflammation in our bodies, and our sedentary lifestyle before we blame ageing!
The sedentary lifestyle we lead at work and home, coupled with our lack of physical activity during leisure time, is taking a toll on our health. It’s time to take action and prioritize exercise for a
healthier and happier life!
Due to the advent of technology, a lot of people have already gotten used to a sedentary lifestyle. Unfortunately, this could take a toll on overall wellness. Protect yourself from it by staying physically
active as much as you can!
If you sit for more than 6 hours per day, you are living a sedentary lifestyle.
Less than 5000 steps per day may indicate a sedentary lifestyle.
Open a fitness app and check how many steps you’ve taken today.
PS: You can install one from the Google Play Store directly.
A sedentary lifestyle decreases cells’ mitochondrial density, resulting in less energy production and early exhaustion.
Exercise signals the mitochondria to get stronger. If your mitochondria don’t think you need much
energy, they won’t produce it.
Nowadays, every other person in their 30s or 40s is suffering from back pain due to a sedentary lifestyle.
Physical activity and a sedentary lifestyle have a greater impact on life span than our genes.
Our society sits a lot. But your body evolved to move.
Another negative effect is insomnia.
As society progresses, sitting hunched over in front of screens becomes more important than exercise.
Many of us go to bed completely wired and unable to shut off our minds.
That’s because the energy that isn’t used circulates through your body and keeps you up at night.
The recommendations here are simple.
Find an activity you love and do more of it.
Walking, running, jogging, weight lifting, yoga
Have you noticed that those who are active throughout the day tend to have more energy, while those who are inactive are often tired?
It’s almost like our bodies are designed to move and thrive on activity! Don’t let a sedentary lifestyle drain your energy.
You’d be surprised how being unhealthy, living a sedentary lifestyle, and letting yourself go speed up the ageing process and appearance of a person. Want to slow down the ageing process and look and
feel young for a long time? Just exercise; it’s that easy.
Our bodies weren’t designed for a sedentary lifestyle at a desk.
We evolved to move and stay active.
A sedentary lifestyle does not benefit a person’s weight loss journey. Reduce your screen time. Find activities to replace working with your computer or laptop.
Working from home has become the new normal for many people. While it offers many benefits, it can also make falling into a sedentary lifestyle easily.
How are you honouring your natural design and prioritizing movement today?
Long walks and running after prey during a hunt—that’s how we lived for thousands of years.
You were meant to expend physical energy every day.
OVIGHO RICHARD OKOJEVOH-CIEH.SMC.CEH.PMP. is a Scrum Master Certified, Project Management & HSE Professional, and the Executive Secretary of the Society for Health, Safety, and Environmental