Do you think guns are the deadliest risk? Your lifetime odds of dying from a gunshot are 1 in 315. Okay, those odds are indeed high. Your chances of dying in a traffic accident are nearly as high with 1 in 491.
There’s statistic like that for nearly any deadly thing you can come up with, including an asteroid strike (1 in 1,600,000). Just so you know, the beloved Armageddon scenario of science fiction writers is still way more possible than dying of a shark attack (1 in 8,000,000).
But there’s one thing that’s overlooked in those morbid statistics. And it’s also the one that’s killing you, and probably everyone you know, right this minute.
That catastrophic, mass-murdering threat is your chair, and couch, and car seat, and any seat for that matter.
Yes, the sedentary lifestyle we are so fond of living today kills you as surely as a gun. But, unlike a gunshot, this particular threat takes years to actually ‘do the deed’. It’s a clever enemy because it eats away at you slowly and usually hides behind some other issue when the time for the final strike comes. However, all that time, it’s the evil mastermind of sedentary lifestyle that’s slowly eroding your defenses to make you easy prey for disease.
Sedentary lifestyle is indeed the classic evil mastermind that ranks up there with the sleaziest of Bond villains. That’s because it kills its enemies (meaning you and people in general) using the hands of others. It’s like a great puppet master, but its puppets are the kinds you see in horror movies because they are diseases.
The health risks of sedentary lifestyle include developing:
If that list isn’t scary enough, you should also know that sitting too long speeds up aging. And a huge study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine came out directly and simply stated that sitting a lot equals dying earlier.
Now, be honest, are you still sitting while reading this?
You most likely are, because that’s what people do today. We sit at work, during commutes, and at home. Even if we do get some exercise, the amount of time spent standing/working out/walking is usually a lot less than the time spent in some kind of sitting/lying element. That’s why even your regular workouts can’t negate the detrimental effects of sedentary lifestyle. So, if you want to beat this enemy, you have to make a conscious choice to be more active in every aspect of your life.
Statistically, nearly 2 billion adults should be starting a weight loss program by default. If you are one of the lucky ones who doesn’t need to burn some fat, you can still benefit from learning how to lose 10 kg in one month. Following an intense program like that will force you to move and make healthier life choices overall. Bear in mind that you’ll need all the help you can get to undo the damage dealt by a sedentary lifestyle.
A healthy and well-balanced weight loss program will help get you on the right track. And if you are satisfied with the numbers you see on your scales, you simply shouldn’t cut the calories in your diet. Exercising, on the other hand, is something you should be doing in spades.
How often do you take a walk? To beat a sedentary lifestyle you need to do this every single day. No excuses, simply put the shoes on and walk. Come rain or shine, you should be exercising those legs or at least walking a few kilometers on a treadmill.
To make this change easier, you should get a walking buddy. If you don’t have one yet, show this article to a friend of yours and they are sure to be sufficiently scared with the death toll due to a sedentary lifestyle to volunteer for daily walks. Better yet, make those walks to and from the gym.
If interacting with people isn’t your thing, get a pet. A dog is a perfect walking companion. But today you can see pet owners walking any kind of animal on a leash, from pigs to spiders. That last sight is possibly scarier than any horrors of the health problems caused by a sedentary lifestyle.
To cut down the sitting time at work you should go out to eat lunch away from your desk. Even if you only go as far as the cafeteria or a park across the road. The more distance you cover, the better.
This can also be good speed training, depending on how far you go and how much time you have to get back to the office.
Do you know handy apps like PomoDoneApp or Focus Booster? They use the Pomodoro time-management technique and alert you every few minutes that you need to start on a different task. Use one to set up regular alerts so you can get off that chair and do some squats.
For maximum effect, take a 2-3 minute break like this every 15-20 minutes. This will also have the side benefit of turning your leg muscles to steel. So, more power for those mandatory daily walks.
Mobile phones seem to be the enemy of all things healthy in the eyes of modern society. You can break the system by making yours actually useful if you make it a rule to stand up and pace while using it.
This will surely lead to a positive change of you spending less time glued to the tiny screen. Typing and pacing at the same time is rather uncomfortable.
The dangers of sedentary lifestyle are very real and they affect every one of us. Don’t let this insidious enemy defeat you and increase the risk of disease. You can move more, you just have to plan it and then do your best to stick with that new healthy routine. Think how this will have you live a longer and healthier life. That’s an excellent motivator.
Agatha Singer is a former 9 to 6 business & finance consultant and current work-from-home mom of two awesome little nuggets. If you are looking to make a big change in your personal life, you may join her journey to a perfect balance between family and personality. Welcome to her blog www.agsinger.com!