Tips to Change Unhealthy and Sedentary Lifestyles

Sedentary lifestyle is one which is characterised by little or no physical activity, bodily movement done as part of playing, working, active transportation, house chores and recreational activities. People who can easily fall into this category are office or desk workers – people who sit at their desk 8 or more hours a day, drive to and from work and sit in front of a TV for the evening.

The World Health Organisation warns that a sedentary lifestyle could very well be among the 10 leading causes of death and disability in the world[1].

A sedentary lifestyle can contribute to or be a risk factor for:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Mortality in elderly people
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Colon cancer
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Osteoporosis
  • Kidney Stones

The Paradox of Progress

Prior to the advent of technologies in transportation, home entertainment and communications, we could not avoid physical activities. The average person walked at least one hour a day, five days a week, and burned an extra 2,000 calories every week in comparison to today.

Fitting Physical Activity in Every Day

Physical activity does not necessarily mean planned, regular exercise. If you can plan to exercise on a regular basis, be it

then that is great. With some people, a busy work life means it is difficult to plan for those periods.

Here are some tips for getting active:

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Walk to work (or park your car 30 minutes walk away from the office if you live out of town)
  • Take a 30 minute walk around the block after lunch
  • Take a walk over to talk your colleague instead of ringing him or her
  • When going out, put on your walking shoes and walk to the bar or restaurant, taking with your smart shoes to wear once you get there
  • If you watch TV a lot, invest in an exercise bike or a rowing machine and do exercise whilst watching TV
  • Learn a few yoga moves and practise them religiously when you get up in the morning

[1] The World Health Organisation, Global Strategy on Physical Activity and Health

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