What Is a Sedentary Lifestyle?
If you suspect that you sit a bit more than you should, you’re not alone. The World Health Organization reports that more than 25 percent of the world’s population, or some 1.4 billion adults, aren’t sufficiently active. Unfortunately, being sedentary can have serious consequences for your health. Fortunately, recognizing those consequences can help motivate you to make simple changes that can really pay off.
The Problem with Being Sedentary
The human body was designed to move, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that being inactive can actually cause problems. What is a sedentary lifestyle doing to a person? As John Hopkins indicates, it can be a risk factor for several health problems:
- Seniors who are physically active can improve their ability to handle daily activities and reduce their fall risk. Those who are sedentary miss out on this benefit.
- People who are active reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and coronary heart disease. Again, their sedentary peers miss out.
- Being inactive can increase the risk of certain cancers.
- Being inactive can worsen feelings of anxiety and depression.
The Solution to a Sedentary Lifestyle
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying sedentary activities. After all, tasks like reading, chatting with friends over dinner, or completing puzzles can help you stay socially engaged and mentally active. The trick is to mix things up. Look for ways that you can add more physical activity to your day:
- Take a walk for dessert. When lunch or dinner is done, treat yourself to a relaxing walk. It’s a healthy habit that can benefit your mood, your waistline, and your wellbeing.
- Capitalize on commercials. Many people tune out when they’re watching television and a commercial comes on. Clever folks who want to be sure to fit in a little physical activity use them. They stand up during commercials and move around the living room until their show comes back on.
- Multitask during phone conversations. When talking on the phone, stand or walk around instead of sitting.
- Relax in active ways. Try active hobbies like gardening, geocaching, dancing, tennis, or golf.
- Go up the active way. Take the stairs instead of using the elevator.
- Socialize on the move. When catching up with friends or family members, stroll around.
- Stand up to get your work done. Instead of sitting, use a standing desk or counter when catching up with your bills or correspondence.
- Embrace chores. Do chores at home. Vacuuming, dusting, sweeping, and scrubbing not only clean your house but also allow you to keep active.
- Use reminders. Set alarms on your phone to remind you to stand up and move around for a few minutes every 30 or 60 minutes during the day.
It’s easy to slip into a sedentary lifestyle, and that lack of activity can be harmful. Thankfully, there are countless fun and productive ways to add physical movement to your day, and making small changes can offer huge benefits. Inviting friends and family to join you can make the process even more rewarding for everyone involved.
At Springhouse Village, we know how important it is to enjoy your retirement in a lively and welcoming environment. We make it easy for our residents to be active participants in our community. Whether that means encouraging residents to shop at local farmers markets or assisting them in starting a garden club, we strive to help our residents thrive. To learn more about the amenities and services we offer, contact Springhouse Village today.