A sedentary lifestyle is one of the current variables with the worst impact on public health. In fact, according to the report of the World Health Organization, if all people are more physically active, we can avoid four to five million deaths each year.
From these numbers, World Health Organization (WHO) considers cardiovascular diseases a leading cause of death globally.
A sedentary lifestyle is one of the risk factors for heart disease, but so are stress, poor diet, lack of water, tobacco, alcohol, being overweight, and obesity.
The Importance Of Physical Activity
Exercising is good for the heart, body, and mind, says the international body, so it helps prevent heart disease but also diabetes, and multiple types of cancer.
Also, in today’s society, keeping on the move is essential for maintaining good mental health and reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Although it is often warned about the need to avoid a sedentary lifestyle to maintain good health, it isn’t easy to implement in many cases.
Sedentary habits are part of the way of living, working, and entertaining in today’s societies, so for many people, it is difficult to achieve a more active lifestyle.
Work, The Basis of A Sedentary Lifestyle:
The way of working is, in most cases, the main reason that leads us to have a sedentary lifestyle. According to Holistic Health, whose address is 1600 Enterprise Dr. Kingston, NY 12401, some studies compare the life prognosis of people who have a sedentary job with those with an active job.
The results ensure that adults who work more than 6 hours sitting should perform at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily, intense or moderate, to have the same cardiovascular prognosis or quality of life as those who have an active job.
In other words, it is essential to compensate with a certain amount of bodily exercise for inactivity that results from the working day.
In this sense, the experts recommend including in the weekly routine some moderate physical activity that should be taken as part of the working day so that, in the future, we are not penalized by it.
On the other hand, an important aspect we can include when we sit down is getting up every certain amount of time. The experts assure us that although it does not have the same impact as physical activity, it helps us favor the circulation of the lower limbs.
In this way, we can avoid the development of edema or swelling in the legs and forming thrombi since mobilizing the muscles not only stimulates circulation but also helps decompress the large veins that bring blood from the lower extremities.
The World Health Organization says that any amount of physical activity is better than none, and the more, the better. Many doctors agree and assure us that it is essential to start physical activity progressively.
Considering the difficulty many people experience in including physical activity in their daily lives, specialists advise integrating it into the work context, in recreational activities, or when traveling on foot or by bicycle.
The cardiologists recommend starting by paying attention to the physical activity that the person already performs. For example, if the patient walks, they should try to walk a little more daily to generate routine and habit.
On the other hand, if the person performs strength exercises, starting with long routines or maximum weights is not necessary. In the second and third weeks, you can increase the intensity slightly, but always follow realistic goals and listen to your own body.
The World Health Organization has established in its 2019 report the amount of physical activity that should be performed to maintain adequate physical and mental health. The work distinguishes three social groups:
Children And Adolescents:
According to WHO, children and adolescents should perform at least 60 minutes of daily physical activity, mainly aerobic exercise of moderate to vigorous intensity. For this reason, they must limit the time spent on school activities or entertainment through screens.
In This Social Group, You May Associate A More Fabulous Sedentary Lifestyle With The Following:
- Greater adiposity.
- Poorer cardiometabolic health.
- Shorter sleep duration.
The WHO recommendation in this age range is to accumulate a minimum of between 150 and 300 minutes of aerobic physical activity of moderate intensity or a minimum of between 75 and 150 minutes of more intense aerobic physical exercise throughout the week.
The consequences of a sedentary lifestyle in adults are aggravated and are usually cardiovascular mortality, increased incidence of hypertension, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. In addition, other types of repercussions are also present, such as anxiety, depression, cognitive health, and impaired sleep quality.
Over 65 Years Old:
Like adults, the WHO ensures that older people should accumulate a minimum of between 150 and 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week.
In addition to avoiding cardiovascular risk, in people over 65 years of age, performing physical activity has other advantages, such as the prevention of falls and injuries, as well as the reduction of the deterioration of bone and functional health.
The Consequences of A Sedentary Lifestyle:
The main consequences of a sedentary lifestyle are usually the early development of hypertension and high cholesterol. It is due to dysfunction related to the loss of functional capacity and fat oxidation.
In other words, there is a decrease in the ability to metabolize fats, and there is a tendency to consume carbohydrates to generate energy.
They are more inefficient people when it comes to sustained physical exertion, so they tend to have a higher heart rate, and their heart is more inefficient at pumping blood and irrigating tissues during exertion.
Another consequence that it usually has on health is the impact on the Nervous System: symptoms such as tachycardia, rapid pulse, or intolerance to physical exertion will occur, which contribute to perpetuating the state of poor cardiac function or loss of functional capacity.
The Impact of The Pandemic on Cardiovascular Health:
The emergence of the pandemic and the restrictive measures significantly increased sedentary lifestyles. In addition, if we consider the growth in the teleworking trend and the reduction in the need to travel, the effect is still maintained, despite having passed the confinement stage.