| Is our lifestyle sedentary or healthy?
|By ASMA AHMED
B.Pharm(North South University)
Research Executive, Viola Vitalis,Bangladesh.
|Sedentary life style is the most common issue that is talked about these days in both
developed and developing countries. So what basically is this sedentary life style? It is a
medical term used to denote a type of lifestyle with no or irregular physical activity; such
as too much lying down, sitting, watching television, eating high calorie foods, and using
computer with little or no exercise at all. People leading sedentary lifestyle is colloquially
known as ‘couch potato’.
A physiologist and professor named Marc Hamilton at the Pennington Biomedical
Research Center in Baton Rouge, La had said that a man who sits 60 hours at a desk job
but still works out for 45 minutes a day five times a week still has a sedentary lifestyle.
Another research was carried out by the University of Hong Kong and Departments of
Health on the physical activity of people who died and correlated their level of physical
activity with their risk of dying. The results showed that 20% of all deaths of people 35
and older were attributed to a lack of physical activity. That is more deaths than can be
attributed to smoking. Looking at specific diseases, the risk of dying from cancer
increased 45% for men and 28% for women due to lack of physical activity. The risk of
dying from heart disease was 52% higher for men and 28% higher for women, all due to
a lack of physical activity.
Sedentary life style not only makes us idle and sluggish; it is the main cause of our many
life-threatening diseases. It has been noticed that the mortality rate of an inactive man is
30% more than an active man and it doubles incase of an inactive elderly woman. The
diseases that result from a sedentary life style include:
Friends, if you are not at all aware with your sedentary activities, then it is the perfect
time to think about it. You still have the time to change your life style and start a healthy
regime. Life style modification is indeed the precursor of a healthy life. Physical activity
increases up the blood circulation and body metabolism and hence nullifies the bad
effects of sedentary lifestyle causing many life-threatening diseases. Life style
modification includes smoke cessation, weight reduction and exercise. We are busy in
our lives and it is quite hard to get time for exercise. But few tricks will help us to remain
active and these are discussed below:
- Cardio vascular diseases.
- High Blood pressure.
- Kidney stones.
- Colon cancer.
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Depression and Anxiety.
- It also accelerates the aging process.
It is our life and it depends on us how we lead it. Instead of living a sedentary life we all
should go for a healthy life style. This would not only make us active and healthy, this
would also ease our depression and make us sound human being. As we all know that
sound health and mind is the key to one’s success.
- Park far away: Instinctively, almost all of us look for a spot as close to
our destination as possible. Instead get into the habit of parking a block
away, or parking at the farthest parking spot.
- Take the stairs instead of elevators: If it is one or two floors, always
take the stairs. If you need to go up/down several floors then take the stairs
to two floors above/below and then take the elevator. As you get used to it,
increase the number of floors you use the stairs for.
- If possible, walk or bike to work: If you work place is relatively close
by, then choose to walk or bike instead of driving.
- Maximize the benefits from your grocery trip: When you go to the
grocery store, make it a habit to walk the entire store. Go through every
aisle and every nook and corner. Avoid the aisles that could tempt you to
pick up junk food.
- Take a short break at work: Take short break while working and do
some physical activity.
- Do your own gardening: Instead of hiring someone to trim your lawn or
gardening, do it yourself. You will not only get some exercise, but save
some money too!
- Play with your kids: Kids these days seem to play more video games than
outdoor games like we did when we were younger. So take your kids out
to the park and throw the ball around, play tag, etc.
- Put on your favorite music and dance: This is not only exercise, but also
a great way to unwind at the end of a busy day. And a good trip downs the
memory lane for those of us who have not done it in a long time!
- While watching TV, pace or stretch: Instead of switching channels
during the ad break get up and walk about the house. Do some lunges or
some simple stretching exercises. If you have stairs in your house, walk up
and down the stairs a few times, during each ad break for at least one show
- Choose to walk down instead of call or email: When you have a
question for a colleague, instead of picking up the phone or shooting an
email, walk over to their cube. This will not only provide some exercise
but a short break for a quick recharge.
- Walk while you talk on the phone: If your job involves talking on the
phone a lot, then instead of doing this sitting at your desk, get into the
habit of pacing while you talk.
- Choose active entertainment over passive entertainment: Instead of
going for a movie or playing video games, choose to go play tennis, swim
with some friends (or at least bowling). Instead of meeting friends for a
cup of coffee, catch up over a sunset walk.
- Choose active vacations: While planning vacations, pick something that
involves some walking and hiking. While taking in a new city, do it by
walk, instead of driving around. If golfing, skip the cart. If staying at a
resort, make use of their pool and the exercise facility. Play cricket,
football and swim. Try skiing and white water rafting.