- Sedentary lifestyle
Sedentary lifestyle is a medical term used to denote a type of lifestyle with no or irregular physical activity. A person who lives a sedentary lifestyle may colloquially be known as a couch potato. It is commonly found in both the developed and developing world. Sedentary activities include sitting, reading, watching television and computer use for much of the day with little or no vigorous physical exercise. A sedentary lifestyle can contribute to many preventable causes of death.
A sedentary lifestyle and lack of physical activity can contribute to or be a risk factor for:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Mortality in elderly men by 30% and double the risk in elderly women
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Colon cancer
- High blood pressure
- Lipid disorders
- Kidney stones
One response that has been adopted by many organizations concerned with health and environment is the promotion of active travel, which seeks to promote walking and cycling as safe and attractive alternatives to motorized transport. Given that many journeys are for relatively short distances, there is considerable scope to replace car use with walking or cycling, though in many settings this may require some infrastructure modification.
It is characterized by sitting or remaining inactive for most of the day with little or no exercise.
Lack of exercise causes muscle atrophy, i.e. shrinking and weakening of the muscles and accordingly increases susceptibility to physical injury. Additionally, physical fitness is correlated with immune system function; a reduction in physical fitness is generally accompanied by a weakening of the immune system. A review in Nature Reviews Cardiology suggests that since illness or injury are associated with prolonged periods of enforced rest, such sedentariness has physiologically become linked to life-preserving metabolic and stress related responses such as inflammation that aid recovery during illness and injury but which due to being nonadaptive during health now lead to chronic diseases.
In the 2008 United States American National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) 36% of adults were considered inactive. 59% of adult respondents never participated in vigorous physical activity lasting more than 10 minutes per week.
- 9 to 5
- Active travel
- Exercise trends
- Simple living
- Childhood inactivity and obesity in the United States
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