According to an article by the American Psychological Association, some 50 million Americans live a sedentary lifestyle. A more recent, CDC analysis states that over 15% of all adults living in the United States live a life of physical inactivity. These numbers show the wide scope of the issue as it relates to American adults. Today, more than ever, Americans are not moving around as they should. Read on to learn more about this issue and why it shouldn’t be ignored:
What is a Sedentary Lifestyle?
A sedentary lifestyle is any lifestyle that involves little to no physical activity. It often means working a desk job, where hours of the day are spent sitting, with little opportunity to get up and move around. Of course, it could also mean watching a lot of TV, playing on a computer, video game system or phone or just generally avoiding moving as much as possible.
Why Is It so Detrimental For a Person to be Sedentary?
If you happen to live a life that doesn't include much moving around, you likely want to know what’s so bad about that choice. What harm can it do? Turns out, a great deal. According to an article posted by John Hopkins Medicine, the following health conditions are directly related to a sedentary lifestyle:
- Coronary heart disease.
- Being overweight or obese.
- An increased risk of specific cancers.
- An increased risk for depression and anxiety.
- A decrease in skeletal muscle mass.
- An increase in cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
According to data, a sedentary lifestyle is responsible for some 6% of coronary heart disease cases, 10% of breast cancers, 7% of Type 2 Diabetes cases and 10% of colon cancers.
What Has Caused an Increase in Our Sedentary Lifestyles?
We now live more sedentary lifestyles than a mere 50 years ago. The primary culprit behind this move to stop moving is technology. Although technology can be an awesome tool to use, allowing us to practice yoga from the comfort of home in our most comfy yoga pants, it has also led to a substantial increase in desk jobs that utilize computers instead of our hands to get a job done. In fact, sedentary jobs have increased immensely, some 83% since 1950. Now, only 25% of jobs could be considered physical in nature, which is a 50% decrease since 1950. Americans also spend more hours working, so not only are we as Americans moving around less than years ago, but we are devoting more hours to work as well, which is a perfect storm of inactivity.