Physical inactivity or Sedentary Lifestyle

This article was last modified on: September 24th, 2019

What is Sedentary Lifestyle:

Physical inactivity or Sedentary Lifestyle is the lack or decrease in regular physical activity . It can be defined as mild weekly physical activity less than 150 minutes, although it is not necessarily associated with lack of sports activity.

Physical inactivity refers only to activities that do not considerably increase energy expenditure above rest, such as sleeping or sitting in front of the computer, for example.

A person who has regular physical activities such as cleaning the house, walking to work, or performing professional duties that require physical exertion is not classified as sedentary.

In order not to be considered sedentary, the individual must perform moderate-intensity physical activity at least 5 times a week for 30 minutes or vigorous-intensity physical activity at least 3 times a week for 20 minutes.

Physical activity can be defined as any body movement produced by the skeletal muscle that generates an energy expenditure.

The concept of exercise is defined as an organized, planned, structured and repeated physical activity that aims to improve or maintain one or more components of physical fitness.

In turn, physical fitness are characteristics that, at appropriate levels, enable greater energy for work and leisure, while providing a lower risk of developing diseases related to physical inactivity.

See also the meaning of physical activity.

Consequences of physical inactivity

Among the main consequences that the lack of physical activity causes is the accumulation of fat in the belly area and increased cholesterol . In addition, other problems may be developed, such as:

  • Cardiovascular diseases (risk of stroke or infarction);
  • Increased risk of type 2 diabetes;
  • Joint pain;
  • Lack of muscle strength;
  • Loss of joint flexibility;
  • Fat accumulation in the arteries;
  • Overweight or obesity;
  • Snoring and apnea during sleep.

Diseases caused by physical inactivity

Physical inactivity, associated with unhealthy habits and calorie diets, is the main cause of the increased incidence of various diseases.

Sedentary individuals are more susceptible to diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, anxiety, obesity, increased cholesterol and myocardial infarction, in addition to muscle atrophy that makes it difficult to perform simple daily tasks.

Diseases caused by physical inactivity
Diseases caused by physical inactivity

Physical inactivity and Obesity

Physical inactivity or Sedentary Lifestyle causes various health issues. Obesity is one of the main consequent problems from physical inactivity. Lack of physical activity causes fat to accumulate in the abdominal (belly) region.

Child sedentary lifestyle is a major concern in contemporary times. Sedentary children have a high risk of being obese in adulthood.

Learn more about Obesity.

How to avoid physical inactivity

We recommend that all people do moderate physical activity on average five times a week, at least 30 minutes a day.

Practicing sports is a good solution to stop being sedentary, whether running, walking, cycling, swimming, etc. But even without sporting activities, people who do a lot of body movements during the day are not considered sedentary (walking, cleaning the house, etc.).

Sedentary lifestyle and modern life

Physical inactivity is considered a behavior induced by habits of modern life. Cars, remote controls, elevators, escalators, etc., technology generally makes life easier for modern man, but at the same time leaves people inactive, who end up making little or no physical effort to perform their tasks.