Sedentary Lifestyle Makes You Obese
Overweight and obesity have become the outcome of modern lifestyle. Obesity leads to many diseases and other problems. It can be controlled to a certain extend by changing the sitting lifestyle.
Modern sedentary lifestyle
According to a report from the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, during the past 20 years there has been an alarming epidemic increase in obesity in the United States. Its report of the year 2009 says that only Colorado and the District of Columbia had a prevalence of obesity less than 20%. All over the world it is on the increase causing various fatal diseases. Sedentary lifestyle of the present era is one of the main reasons for this increase.
What is sedentary lifestyle?
Today modern man’s brain has to work more than his other parts of the body. That makes him more sedentary. Humanity has taken up a mode of living without much physical activity. At every stage of his life, either a child or an adult, he is more a couch potato, not involved in physical activities or exercises. Advance in technology and inventions of machineries have changed the lifestyle of modern man, making him more sedentary. The term “sedentary life” is often used by professionals or medical world to describe a lifestyle among many people in highly developed countries that does not afford them opportunities for physical activity. This type of living has been developed because of the influence of modern forms of entertainment such as television, video games, and computer programs. Along with such inactive types of entertainment, modern working style also has become more sedentary with advanced equipment and machineries.
How can sedentary lifestyle affect weight?
Since sedentary lifestyle is blamed as the number one culprit in causing obesity, serious researches are going on all over the world to find out the modifiable risk factors for a changed lifestyle of weight control. Numerous studies have observed that there is a strong inverse cross-sectional relationship between BMI and a sedentary lifestyle. Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number calculated from a person’s weight and height and BMI of a person provides reliable information of body fatness that may lead to health problems.
Impact of sedentary lifestyle on children
Modern sedentary lifestyle has affected very much the health of children through their sedentary entertainment. The social and psychological issues of childhood obesity, caused mostly because this sedentary lifestyle can be seen even more intrusive on the child’s life than the physical. Childhood is a critical time for the development of self-esteem and so the psychological issues faced by an overweight child are very serious on its characters and social life.
Dr. Hu Frank B., M.D., Ph.D. reports in “The Journal of American Medicine” that television watching and other sedentary lifestyle behaviors affect children and women in relation to risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus in them. Researches state that Americans, in general, seem to be more sedentary. It is suggested that children should have at least thirty minutes per day of exercise outside of school time. (The Journal of American Medicine, 2003, p. 1790) Dr. Kaur Haroshena, M.D., MPH, says in his essay title, “Duration of television watching is associated with body mass index,” that television, computers, and video games consume more and more of outside playtime and television watching is the predominant sedentary behavior in children, second only to sleeping. (Dr. Kaur Haroshena, M.D., MPH, in The Journal of Pediatrics, 2003, p. 506)
Dr. Hu points out that watching television is more strongly associated with obesity than other sedentary behaviors. He states that obesity is caused by watching television since it reduces energy expenditure by limiting time that children can spend doing physical activities. Another reason he points out for weight gaining by this sedentary lifestyle is the habit of snacking. Watching television tends to the habit of eating snacks, especially with the inundation of junk food enticements.
Researches of Japanese doctors Furukawa Y, Toji C, Fukui M, Kazumi T, and Date C. of Nara Women’s University reveal that even though the sedentary group subjects had lower BMIs, they had significantly higher body fat percentages. The ankle systolic blood pressure and ankle brachial index (ABI) were significantly higher in the physically active subjects. The results confirmed that the accumulation of body fat, including visceral fat, was higher in the sedentary people and, therefore, it is necessary to increase their energy expenditure by regular exercise and consume a diet that corresponds only to their dietary requirements.
Dr. Deborah Young-Hyman, behavioral psychologist with the Georgia Prevention Institute, says that sedentary lifestyle, or a low amount of physical activity, influences parenting stress of the mothers. She says that stress is associated with weight and overweight has much to do in behavior changes and emotional life.
In short, the impact of sedentary lifestyle on one’s body weight is really great. Sedentary lifestyle makes you ingest a lot of calories and not really burning any of them. These calories not burnt are deposited in your body as excess fat which is just the beginning of hundreds of health problems.