For most Singaporeans, the temptation to do absolutely nothing after a long day at work often triumphs their desire to move, much less exercise. The physical and mental exhaustion often warrants a portion of time to wind down and decompress. Sometimes, this continues even in the weekends and physical activities become an item on their to-do-list but never actually pursued.
This sedentary lifestyle is easy to fall into since you literally need no effort. However, this very lifestyle possesses a threat to your health by increasing the chances of developing chronic ailments. That said, don’t be disheartened just yet! There are ways in which you can prevent and revert the consequential effects of a sedentary lifestyle.
What’s a sedentary lifestyle
In 2018 alone, a study done by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has shown that 1 in 3 Singaporeans are not active enough. Whilst more men than women are found to have engaged in physical exercise, both genders are still lacking behind the global average. On top of the fact that physical inactivity is the 4th leading risk factor for global mortality is concerning enough, Singapore’s statistics is highly worrying.
Especially for city dwellers, having a constant exercise routine is challenging. Apart from the lack of recreational time and pre-existing medical conditions, most Singaporeans would rather spend time on their mobile devices. Whilst it is definitely easier to adopt a sedentary lifestyle, your body and health may be the ones to pay the cost.
How it affects your health
Ironically, not doing anything has the propensity to bring you harm. Long periods of sitting or lounging on your couch will significantly reduce your metabolism, which makes it harder to break down fat. The weight loss plan that you thought would work, in actuality, wouldn’t give you any satisfactory results. Extended periods of inactivity will also impair your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar – basically your insulin and glucagon production – and also your blood pressure. This easily gives rise to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, especially when weight becomes a concern. It may also lead to osteoporosis and even abnormality in cell growth, aka cancer.
It’s not only your physical health that gets affected but so will your mental health. A study was done with 10,381 participants who have adopted a sedentary lifestyle. According to their findings, they concluded that an inactive lifestyle increases the chances of one developing a mental health disorder, especially depression.
Solutions to sedentary lifestyles
The only solution for physical inactivity is as straightforward as it gets: be physically active. Clock in an exercise routine that combines both cardiovascular exercises and weight training. It could be as simple as walking for 30 minutes a day and doing 30-minute sessions of push-pull trainings a week. However, if you’re dedicating the majority of your time sitting down, having a weekly routine may not even cut it. Instead, reduce your time spent being sedentary by walking to your workplace or even spending more time doing simple chores at home every single day.
If your health is already at risk, don’t panic. Figure out solutions to tackle one problem at a time. For instance, if you have gained several pounds and have trouble trying to lose weight, perhaps you may want to invest in an effective weight loss treatment. If you are trying to reduce your high blood pressure, commit to a healthier and cleaner diet. There’s no way getting around it as the majority of Singaporeans are desk jockeys but incorporate tweaks to your way of living will prove to be sufficient.