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9 Negative Effects of a Sedentary Lifestyle

Living a sedentary lifestyle can have serious consequences on your health. Even if you don’t spend hours sitting at a desk, working in a cubical, or walking from one place to another, staying active and engaging in physical activities can help you stay healthy. Living an inactive life can take its toll on your body, leading to many unwanted side effects. Read on to find out about the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle to avoid them.

1. Obesity and weight gain

One of the most harmful side effects of a sedentary lifestyle is the potential to gain weight and become obese. Living an inactive lifestyle is associated with higher body mass index (BMI) levels and increases in body fat. This can lead to weight gain, which, in turn, may increase your risk of numerous health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and sleep apnea.

2. Back pain

Back pain is one of the most prevalent negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle. When you sit for long periods of time, your spine takes on a curved shape that puts pressure on your lower back and neck. This can lead to many other symptoms, including shoulder pain and pain in your joints.

3. Diabetes

Another negative consequence of a sedentary lifestyle is diabetes. Diabetes is a disease that causes the body to have high blood sugar levels. It can lead to other health conditions, such as heart disease and stroke. The American Heart Association recommends that adults should be getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week. If you are not participating in these activities, it could be contributing to your risk of developing diabetes.

4. Osteoporosis

One of the most common side effects of a sedentary lifestyle is osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition that causes the bones to become more brittle and weak, making them more susceptible to fractures. Men who spend little time exercising or engaging in physical activities are at greater risk for developing osteoporosis than women.

5. Depression and anxiety

Living an inactive lifestyle can have negative effects on your mental health by leading to depression and anxiety. People who work in cubicles or have desk jobs often feel like they are not physically engaged or that their work is not meaningful. This can lead to feelings of guilt, stress, and even hopelessness. If you’re feeling blue about your job or your current life situation, it might be time for physical activity.

6. Reduced physical abilities

One of the biggest consequences of a sedentary lifestyle is reduced physical abilities. Studies show that people who have a sedentary lifestyle can have slower reflexes, lower muscle strength, and retarded reactions. You can improve your health by doing more physical activities like walking or dancing, by exercising or playing sports, and by monitoring your weight.

7. Respiratory problems

Sitting for long periods of time can lead to respiratory problems. Most people don’t realize that even mild exercise, like walking, when done regularly, can help reduce the risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). According to the American Lung Association, COPD is a progressive disease that causes the airways to narrow and becomes increasingly difficult to breathe. With COPD, you can’t get full breaths. If left untreated, COPD can lead to serious health consequences.

8. Musculoskeletal problems

Excess sitting and desk jobs can cause problems with your muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments. If you spend most of the day sitting or on your feet with poor posture, you could be at risk for developing back pain, muscle pain, or arthritis in the future. Falls are more likely if you spend a lot of time without moving around much. Uncertain footing and slippery surfaces make it difficult for people to move gracefully and avoid spills.

9. Reduced fertility

Metabolic studies have shown that low levels of physical activity can lead to less sperm production and men suffering from infertility often have problems with their health due to this. A more active life can help you stay healthy and preserve your fertility.

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