For many of us, modern leaving means a more sedentary lifestyle. And that’s not the healthiest. Here’s why… and how to change it.
It’s easy to fall into the trap that we’re superior in virtually all ways to our ancestors. We’ve got all the information that they had and much more, so you’d expect that we would have figured out the best way to live.
But it turns out that we haven’t. Our ancestors, for example, were much stronger than we were. And if you think about it for just a few minutes, it’s easy to see why.
The vast majority of humans haven’t spent their days sitting at a desk, in front of a computer. We’re living a sedentary lifestyle.
While it might feel more comfortable to be sitting down, out of the elements, it’s a lifestyle that you should be wary of. We take a look at some reasons why below.
A Sedentary Lifestyle Means We Are Inside More
Spending so much of the time sitting down wouldn’t be so bad if we were, say, on a beach or otherwise in the great outdoors. But that’s not what’s happening. We’re inside, a lot. Sometimes, we only leave the home for a matter of minutes.
Yet this might be doing more damage than you realize. Humans belong in the outdoors! It makes us happy, and ensures we get enough sunlight. By trapping ourselves all the time, we’re going against our nature.
A Sedentary Lifestyle Can Cause Body Issues
Being comfortable can come at a price. Your body simply wasn’t designed to be sat in a seat all day. It goes against its natural position, which is to be more upright.
Aside from the added weight that sitting down for long periods can bring, it can also cause painful conditions, such as back pain.
To make sure that your body gets all that it needs, ensure that you’re spending enough time upright and active.
A Sedentary Lifestyle May Lower Your Mood
We could think that spending our time doing work and earning money would make us happy. And for sure, there’s an element of that. But it’s not going to make you happy all on its own.
Happiness comes from being active. If you spend too many consecutive days not being active, you’ll fall into a low mood. If you don’t believe just how good using your body can be, just go for a long run.
The warm glow you’ll get after will show you that it’s worth doing!
A Sedentary Lifestyle Affects Your Sleep
If you’re ever getting to the end of the day, getting into bed, and then….lying there for a long time, just trying to fall asleep, then it’s possible your inactive lifestyle is to blame.
For starters, your body can’t really justify falling asleep – which functions as a way to build up your energy again – if it hasn’t been doing much throughout the day.
Then there’s the matter of technology. If you’re spending your evenings sat inside, browsing the internet on your laptop or scrolling through Facebook on your phone, then your mind is going to be too active.
It’ll take a longer time than usual to get into that quieter zone, when it’s able to fall asleep. If you have to spend a day inside for any reason, at least make sure that screen time is kept to a minimum in the run-up to bedtime.
A Sedentary Lifestyle Can Contribute To Certain Medical Conditions
It’s possible that in fifty years or so, people will look back at how we all spent so much time sitting down in much the same way as we view smoking: as obviously bad for your health.
The medical community is already beginning to publish studies that support such a claim. They’ve found that a lack of physical activity, and especially sitting down for too long, is responsible for a host of conditions.
Among others, it can cause certain cancers, heart diseases, obesity — none of the things that you want to have in your life, basically.
What To Do
Now after all the naysaying about a sedentary lifestyle, it’s important to take a look at what you can do. After all, it’s not as if you can quit your job (well you can, but it’s a bit complicated).
The trick is to take steps to build greater physical activity into your day. A morning run, for instance, will wake up and give you all the physical exertion you need during the day.
You can also consider parking further away from the office, and walking the rest of the distance, and opting for the stairs instead of the elevator. In the evenings, go for a walk rather than watching television.