The Dangers of a Sedentary Lifestyle and Their Prevention
Nowadays, more and more people prefer having a job that does not require physical activity. It can be a job with a distant mode, some work in the office, programming, etc. The main problem is that it usually couples with an inactive lifestyle outside the professional occupation. For millions of people, the weekends of watching Netflix, surfing the Internet, or reading books have a predominant value. As a result, most life outside sleeping is spent in a sitting position. The warnings of the academic community about the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle are legitimate because of the sedentary lifestyle during COVID-19 lockdowns and an extensive evidence base about possible health problems.
Health Problems and Prevention
The problem of a sedentary lifestyle has become enormously acute in the 21st century. J Ildefonzo (2019) indicated that one-third of the global population is not active enough to avoid health problems related to a sedentary lifestyle. The impact of such a trend is an increase in chronic diseases and premature deaths. Moreover, there is a statistically significant association between a sedentary lifestyle and “obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease” (J Ildefonzo, 2019, p. 233). The possible solution for such a problem is not so hard to implement. J Ildefonzo (2019) recommends individuals do sports for 30 minutes, and organizations encourage students/employees to use stairs and attend the gym by certain policies. The latter is especially effective because it can be implemented through governmental public policies that mandate businesses and public organizations to take decisive actions. For example, some studies discuss arranging the furniture and workstations to increase the time employees stand (Zhu et al., 2020). Another way to increase an active lifestyle is to guarantee gym memberships to the staff.
Context of COVID-19
The inactive style of living has become prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic. The reason is that people have become confined to their homes for a long period of time without the opportunity to go to the gym or attend PE classes in school or university. However, the research with big data showed mixed results. Romero-Blanco et al. (2020) indicate that “there was an increase in sitting time, but unexpectedly, there was also an increase in both the amount of time spent doing physical activity” (p. 9). It may be said that during lockdowns, people have understood all the dangers of having an entirely sedentary style of living, so there can be indicated a positive trend in these matters. Other scholars admit the importance of the active type of living in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lim and Pranata (2020) acknowledge that active sports and reducing the time spent in sitting positions will mitigate the opportunities for severe illness. It is explained by the increase in immune response capabilities.
To sum up, the scholarship on the impact of a sedentary lifestyle has mushroomed over the past 20 years. People more and more suffer from diseases and problems that have a direct cause in the inactive way of living. Although there is a trend that people are starting to realize the problems of a sedentary lifestyle, there is a need to increase special policies and practices to make people sit less. It is especially important during COVID-19 lockdowns when there can be some individuals who will not do any sports while spending time at home. Even a small amount of time devoted to sports will help to have a more stable immune system and avoid the severe consequences of a sedentary lifestyle.
J Ildefonzo, A. R. (2019). Sedentary lifestyle a disease from xxi century. Clinica e investigacion en arteriosclerosis: publicacion oficial de la Sociedad Espanola de Arteriosclerosis, 31(5), 233-240. Web.
Lim, M. A., & Pranata, R. (2020). The danger of sedentary lifestyle in diabetic and obese people during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Clinical Medicine Insights: Endocrinology and Diabetes, 13, 1-2. Web.
Romero-Blanco, C., Rodríguez-Almagro, J., Onieva-Zafra, M. D., Parra-Fernández, M. L., Prado-Laguna, M. D. C., & Hernández-Martínez, A. (2020). Physical activity and sedentary lifestyle in university students: changes during confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemic. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(18), 1-13. Web.
Zhu, X., Yoshikawa, A., Qiu, L., Lu, Z., Lee, C., & Ory, M. (2020). Healthy workplaces, active employees: A systematic literature review on impacts of workplace environments on employees’ physical activity and sedentary behavior. Building and Environment, 168, 1-48. Web.