Keep moving ladies, as your sedentary lifestyle is going to give you these injuries

Being sedentary can cause several injuries and health conditions, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
reduce sugar levels
If you have a sedentary lifestyle, you are more susceptible to binge eat. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Dr Kavya Bhatia Updated: 30 Oct 2023, 14:58 pm IST
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A lifestyle with prolonged sitting and lying down, with very little to no exercise implies a sedentary lifestyle. According to WHO, a sedentary lifestyle can result in serious implications to the health of an individual. It could be among the 10 leading causes of death and

India, like any other developing country, is passing through an epidemiological health transition affecting both the rural and urban areas. There has been a rapid increase in the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus (DM) and chronic respiratory diseases. Use of tobacco, low level of physical activity, and obesity are quite common in the Indian population. The drop in physical activity is partly due to inaction during leisure time and sedentary behaviour on the job and at home. Likewise, an increase in the use of “passive” modes of transportation also contributes to insufficient physical activity.

Injuries and conditions associated with sedentary lifestyle:

Physical inactivity promotes deconditioning, which negatively affects the body’s normal functioning. It may lead to less muscle mass, which in turn results in osteoarthritis and joint inflammation. Obesity is also associated with osteoarthritis, as there is an increase in the mechanical load on the joints and cartilages.


Osteoporosis is characterised by the loss of calcium in a person’s bones, which makes them more likely to fracture. A sedentary lifestyle encourages the loss of bone mass. A sedentary lifestyle, poor posture, poor balance and weak muscles increase the risk of fractures.

sedentary lifestyle
An inactive lifestyle causes bone wastage. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Muscle fatigue

There is a decrease in cardiac output and oxygenation, which results in early fatigue.

Glucose intolerance

An Increase in the insulin levels leads to glucose intolerance, which results in diabetes mellitus and obesity. Both physical inactivity and obesity seem to be strongly and independently associated with diabetes and diabetes-related comorbidities. It is estimated that for every one kilogram increase in weight, the prevalence of diabetes increases by 9%.

Lower back pain

Bone health is likely to be affected in an inactive population. Intervertebral disc narrowing is a feature of degenerative disc disease, suggested by some to be the single most important structural risk factor for low back pain. With chronic low back pain patients who are deconditioned, their level of activity affects other parts of their body too. For instance, metabolic factors including carbohydrate and lipid metabolism will become less efficient and effective than healthy non-chronic LBP individuals. Reduced physical activity levels will eventually lead to weight gain and a change in body composition, and people with LBP are reported to have a higher body fat percentage compared to age- and gender-matched individuals.

sedentary lifestyle
Lower back pain can cause severe discomfort. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Having a sedentary lifestyle can be one of the causes of many chronic diseases. By not regularly exercising, there is a risk of obesity, coronary artery diseases, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, breast and colon cancer and hyperlipidemia (increased cholesterol).

Ways to avoid the impact of a sedentary lifestyle

WHO estimates that positive changes in health behaviour like Smoking cessation, Dietary changes, Lifestyle Modification and engaging into physical activity can reduce the risk of Heart Diseases, Stroke and Diabetes by about three quarters and Cancer by one third.

Raising the activity levels can help to stave off these impacts. So, plan exercise into your schedule. Get up and move around regularly throughout the day. Look for the little ways to add more activity to your daily routine.

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Ways to get started with exercises

Start slowly and add the exercises gradually. Always plan the amount of exercises according to one’s age and health. There are many different ways to get exercise, which is why it is important to find out which one is a good fit for you. Individuals suffering from any medical ailment should always get a clearance from a doctor, prior to starting any vigorous form of exercise. It is recommended that these individuals carry out the exercises under the supervision of a trained physiotherapist.

Ways to be more active at home

Stand up while talking on the phone. Keep moving while you watch TV. Plan your workouts at home with a workout video. Get some exercise equipment like thera ball, thera bands, weight cuffs or dumbbells at home.

sedentary lifestyle
Working out has its own perks! Image Shutterstock

Ways to be more active at work

Majority of the population has a sitting job, which can be challenging for the physical activity to fit in that busy work day.

Following are the tips to be taken into consideration:

-Get up from the chair and move around at least once an hour.
-Stand while talking on the phone.
-Take stairs instead of an elevator.
-Do perform some stretches for the neck, low back and arms every two hours.

Regular physical activity, such as walking, cycling, wheeling, doing sports or active recreation, provides significant benefits for health. Some physical activity is better than doing none. By becoming more active throughout the day in relatively simple ways, people can easily achieve the recommended activity levels. Each person must understand the value of physical activity for his or her health and well-being and commit to a lifestyle that is truly active.

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About the Author

Dr Kavya Bhatia, Consultant Physiotherapist, HOD Reliva Physiotherapy Center, Masina Hospital ...Read More

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