The Hazards of Sedentary Lifestyle

The Hazards of Sedentary Lifestyle

Even though many of us wish we didn't tip the scales quite so much as we really do, we still keep up a relatively inactive mode of existence.  Many people spend a great deal of time watching television, and while they watch, they eat.  In addition, what they eat often is not healthy.  These TV snacks tend to be high in fat, or if low in fat, still very high in calories.  Also, while people watch TV, they rarely pay attention to exactly how much of said snack they are eating.  With less exercise, these calories build up in the body, raising the risks of a whole host of illnesses.  In fact, a study done in 2004 supports the idea that a lack of exercise was behind a fifth of American deaths of people over 35.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

In many ways, transportation-related technology is a wonderful thing.  However, it does have its negative side effects.  For example, we are walking much less than previous generations did.  Before the internal combustion engine became commonplace, it was normal to walk five hours a week, which means the average person was able to expend 2,000 calories weekly, or 96,000 calories yearly.  We can also say that in some ways, there is less need to travel in the first place, given that much of our business and pleasure can be conducted over the phone or Internet.  Why go hunting in a slew of second-hand shops for a treasured collector's item, when you can just sit home and get the same thing on eBay?  In short, our food is more fattening, and we are also less active.  Net result?  Lots of stored calories that can have bad effects on our bodies.

Eating While Watching TV

As we have said, many people now spend a lot of time watching TV.  The problem is not necessarily the TV shows but the frequent food-related advertising that can trigger a surge in our appetites.  Then we reach for some snack foods, and end up eating more than we planned.  Sometimes, we end up consuming thousands of calories in that one sitting, in addition to the other calories consumed over the rest of the day, of course.

Getting Older

The aging process is associated with telomeres, which are repeated bits of DNA that act as protective caps on our chromosomes.  As we get older, the telomeres get shorter, and their deterioration is associated with the physical signs of middle and old age.  Researchers have found that active people tend to have longer telomeres than inactive people.  They have also found that people who are less stressed also tend to have longer telomeres.  In the latter case, exercise may make an indirect contribution.  Exercise tends to relieve stress.  If you are more relaxed, your telomeres will not deteriorate as quickly, and you will age more slowly.

The Heart and Blood Vessels

In order to keep functioning properly, your heart must get a sufficient and steady supply of blood from three critical blood vessels, the coronary arteries.  Unfortunately, these vessels can become stiff and blocked, which, in serious cases, can lead to arteriosclerosis and cardiac arrest.  However, regular exercise helps keep these blood vessels in good condition.  Your heart will get enough blood and stay strong enough to keep pumping.  On the other hand, an inactive lifestyle significantly increases the risk of cardiac arrest.  The increase is over a quarter in women and more than half in men.

Diabetes, Cancer, and Other Ailments

Physical exercise helps people to avoid becoming obese, and also helps prevent the onset of Type 2 Diabetes.  The latter is because exercise can aid in maintaining blood sugar at stable, balanced levels.  However, if you already happen to have diabetes, that does not mean that exercise can no longer do anything for you.  In fact, it might even be more imperative that you get enough exercise.  As we have already explained, exercise lowers the risk of cardiac arrest.  This is important for diabetics because cardiac arrest is the most common cause of death among that particular segment of the population.

Getting enough exercise can also lower your risk of developing some of the most common types of cancer.  This is because inactive men are 45% more likely to get cancer, while sedentary women are 28% more likely to get it.

Staying active also has an effect on less serious ailments.  For instance, exercise can help get rid of that not-very-deadly-but-extremely-irritating ailment known as the common cold.  In addition, it also keeps your muscles and bones strong, so you are in better condition to do the things you love.

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9 Comment(s)

Good Article, i like it.
By: Alagu 10 years ago
By: Cheyne Fingers 10 years ago
its amazing how our society has become really lazy and they don't care about there health & heart
By: walkleye 10 years ago
By: ann-sophie 10 years ago
i like pancakes
By: shawn michaels 11 years ago
broccoli must die!
By: stewie 11 years ago
this got me an A on my report on sedentary lifestyles
By: nick88 11 years ago
the guy in the picture ;P
By: fgsdagre 11 years ago
good job
By: lolypop 11 years ago

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