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Sedentary Lifestyle

Updated: Oct 28, 2022

‘Sedentary Lifestyle' is definitely a phrase we’ve all heard thrown around, but what does it really mean, and how does it affect our health?

It is commonly defined as "a lifestyle with a lot of sitting and lying down, with very little to no exercise."(1) To give you a clearer idea, the NHS suggests that adults aged between 19-64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.(2) Split over 4 or 5 days, which averages out to only 30 minutes - that might look like a walk to and from work, a bit of gardening, or even a whole Curves workout.

Although this sounds simple enough to follow, approximately 60 to 85% of people in the world—from both developed and developing countries—lead sedentary lifestyles, and less than 5% perform 30 minutes of physical activity per day. Unfortunately, over time, this can have very serious repercussions for our health. Studies have now consistently demonstrated that leading a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to:

In fact, about 2 million deaths per year are attributed to physical inactivity, prompting WHO to issue a warning that a sedentary lifestyle could very well be among the 10 leading causes of death and disability in the world.(3) And aside from physical health, a sedentary lifestyle also appears to have a negative impact on mental well-being.

One study with 10,381 participants associated a sedentary lifestyle and lack of physical activity with a higher risk of developing a mental health disorder. Combined with the limitations to your daily life that can be caused by a sedentary lifestyle, you’re also put more at risk of heightened anxiety and depression.


Although this may sound like it’s all doom and gloom, it’s super easy to make big changes to your lifestyle! It’s all down to building small habits to be a tiny bit more active over time.


Some easy ideas to try are: standing rather than sitting on public transport, walking to work, moving during ad breaks, and joining in on classes you'll enjoy! It’s much more doable than you think - especially with the support of your Curves coaches and community. All it takes is that first tiny step!


Text References

(1) - Medlineplus.gov. 2022. Health Risks of an Inactive Lifestyle: MedlinePlus. [online] Available at: <https://medlineplus.gov/healthrisksofaninactivelifestyle.html#:~:text=A%20sedentary%20or%20inactive%20lifestyle,more%20time%20doing%20sedentary%20activities.> [Accessed 13 September 2022].

(2) - nhs.uk. 2022. Physical activity guidelines for adults aged 19 to 64. [online] Available at: <https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/exercise-guidelines/physical-activity-guidelines-for-adults-aged-19-to-64/#:~:text=do%20at%20least%20150%20minutes,a%20week%2C%20or%20every%20day> [Accessed 13 September 2022].

(3) - Who.int. 2022. Physical inactivity a leading cause of disease and disability, warns WHO. [online] Available at: <https://www.who.int/news/item/04-04-2002-physical-inactivity-a-leading-cause-of-disease-and-disability-warns-who> [Accessed 13 September 2022].


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