Sedentary behavior has varying definitions but the focus of all definitions is the lack of movement and decreased physical activity. There are many health risks associated with sedentary behaviors or living a sedentary lifestyle.
Health Risks Associated with Sedentary Behavior Include:
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Altered Respiratory Function
- Type II Diabetes
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Obesity, being overweight and increased adiposity
- Mental health
- Musculoskeletal Disorders
There are ways to counteract the risks associated with sedentary behavior and decrease the health outcomes that can be a result of sedentary behavior. These include exercising, workplace modifications, and lifestyle changes. Overall, with the aging population and with increased time spent as a population watching television, using computers and using other technological devices it is important to be aware of the health risks that are associated with increased time spent performing sedentary activities.
There is hope if a person is living a sedentary lifestyle to make changes in order to decrease these significant health risks. It has not been well studied whether or not performing traditional vigorous exercise training (one bout per day) impacts the detrimental effects of excessive sedentary behavior. Further research needs to be performed on the topic if reducing sedentary behavior and increasing non-exercise physical activity is enough or if elevating and maintaining aerobic capacity is needed for maximal health.
There has been recent epidemiological evidence that suggests that sedentary behavior may increase the risk of early mortality even if individuals perform the regular defined exercises.
In general, it is important to decrease sedentary behaviors to decrease associated health risks and promote better overall health. There are always ways to increase physical activity or physical movement. It will be up to the individual to determine if starting an exercise program is the answer or if just changing workplace activity is the place to start. The bottom line is that it is important for all individuals of every age to get moving to decrease associated health risks.
We live in a world that causes many individuals to sit for prolonged periods of time. Sometimes we can’t avoid how long we must sit due to job duties and environmental conditions so to counteract the effects on the spine you need to find the best ergonomic set up including the right chair cushions and lumbar support to promote the best posture possible.