How a Sedentary Lifestyle Hurts Your Health

By Lana Bandoim

The couch can sometimes feel like a magnet. After sitting down, it is hard to get up for any reason. From bribing the kids to get snacks from the kitchen to teaching the dog to carry the TV remote, you may be tempted to think of new ways to avoid moving. However, a new study reveals that a sedentary lifestyle can be dangerous for your health. Consider the following research details before plopping down on the couch for a long movie marathon.

Two Weeks on the Couch

A recent study focused on what happens to the body after sitting on the couch for two weeks. A group of healthy people with no prior medical conditions or obesity problems participated in the study. Researchers were surprised to see how much sitting for two weeks affected their health.

The study participants lost a significant amount of muscle. They also started to have fat grow around their organs. Most of the fat was in the abdominal area. This increased their risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.

Sedentary Lifestyle 

The people who were part of the research simply changed their lifestyle to be more sedentary. They did not spend the entire two weeks on the couch without getting up at all. However, they increased how much time they spent sitting and limited exercise. This was enough to affect their health.

Not only did they lose muscle and gain fat, they also lost their overall fitness abilities. They were not able to run for long periods after two weeks.

Reversing Changes

After two weeks of returning to normal activities, the study participants reversed most of the damage. Researchers mentioned that exercise can reverse the problems created by a sedentary lifestyle. However, it takes effort to move off the couch and go running.

One hour at the gym during the week is not enough to make a significant change. The key is to stay active during the entire day. You have to make an effort to move and limit sitting. Consider taking a short break to walk every 30 minutes at work. Get up during the TV commercials and exercise. Stand while talking on the phone or checking messages.  

Daily exercise is an essential part of staying healthy and reducing the risk of many medical problems. Avoid the temptation of comfortable couch cushions and blankets. Instead, limit how much time you spend sitting during the day and try to move more often.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.

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