In an age where things are becoming increasingly available without ever leaving your home, the issues associated with sedentary living have been on the rise. Things like Ebay, Amazon Prime, UberEats, and similar services allow people to live their entire lives within the confines of their home sitting in their camping couch, rarely physically exercising. This can result in a host of mental, physical, and spiritual issues manifesting themselves. 

Underlying Causes of a Sedentary Lifestyle

There are a number of reasons why a person may end up living a sedentary lifestyle. Sometimes this could be a personal choice, where the person is uncomfortable or unwilling to live otherwise. There are cases where the person may not be living a sedentary lifestyle by choice, due to some form of sickness, disability, or living requirement which forces them to live the way they do. Some people may also feel compelled to live this way, due to some form of mental illness or compulsive behavior (germaphobia, fear of sweating). It is important to recognize that all people who live a sedentary lifestyle do so by choice, and that there are very real risks associated with living this way. No case is the same, and each one must be approached as an individual and with compassion. Sometimes this lifestyle can also be associated with work. When people are required to sit at a desk for long periods each day it can also have negative health implications.

Mental Health Issues

It has been proven time and time again that exercising is good for your mental health. It releases endorphins in the brain which make us feel happy and accomplished. People who abstain from physical activity can sometimes fall into depression or other adverse mental states which can cause suffering and exacerbate the issue further. The best way to combat this is by trying to get in some form of physical activity every day. This could include a short in home workout, using a video, youtube, or similar service. The workout should be at least 30 minutes in length and can be increased over time in duration and difficulty. If the person is unable to physically exercise there are also other options to consider to help mental health. Some examples include sunlight mimicking lamps, low impact activities, mental exercises, coloring, and many others. 

Physical Health Issues

There are many negative physical health issues which can arise from living a sedentary lifestyle. When muscles aren’t regularly used they begin to atrophy, which causes the person to lose their strength they have previously accumulated (“if you don’t use it, you lose it”). This can lead to numerous muscular imbalances and lingering health problems. In some cases people who are living sedentary lifestyles may have some kind of physical injury, or be recovering from surgery. There are a number of steps that people who are temporarily confined to this way of living can do to speed up the recovery process. It can be extremely difficult to recover from injuries on essential body parts, such as the legs. Things like physiotherapy can help, and those without health coverage who would like a cheaper option could also consider looking into the benefits of magnetic knee braces to speed up the healing process. Braces like these have been adopted by many naturopathic doctors, and have been successful in aiding the recovery of many post surgery patients. 

Regardless of the reason behind someone’s sedentary lifestyle, it is bound to have some adverse physical health implications. Lack of exercise can also lead to obesity in some cases, which has been proven to lead to increased risk of heart attacks, and other extreme health issues. 

Moving Into The Future

There are many ways to incorporate physical activity into our everyday lives where there otherwise would be none. This could mean sitting on a large exercise ball at your desk instead of slouching in your seat. You could do some stretches while you’re waiting for something to load on a computer, or when you have a minute between tasks. Other options could be walking to the store instead of driving, biking to work daily, doing some sit ups while watching TV. Set a timer for 1 hour and get up and walk around when it goes off for 5 minutes. Join a community or intramural sports team with friends, this can help you stay committed and make the experience more enjoyable. All these strategies can help to combat and fight back against the negative health implications associated with sedentary living. 

Don’t let our culture of convenience get the best of you! Keep pushing your goals forward and get off the couch and live your life! If you have some kind of ailment which is keeping you on the couch then hang in there, help is on the way. The advice in this article should set you on the right path to a healthier lifestyle, and a quicker recovery.