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The effects of leading a sedentary lifestyle

Sedentary behaviours have become a common part of contemporary society and is defined as low-intensity activity in a seated, reclined, or supine position. The relationship between sedentary behaviours and health outcomes such as cardiometabolic diseases, some cancers, quality of life, and mental health is very much in the watchful eye of the World Health Organisation.

Increasing levels of sedentary behaviours with decreasing levels of physical activity has a significant impact on cardiovascular disease rates. Cardiovascular disease is multi-factorial, and includes lifestyle factors such as a poor diet, reduced physical activity, and increased sitting time. Interestingly, a study observed normally fit and active individuals who reduced their physical activity and became more sedentary exhibited reversible health conditions. These health conditions included reduced endothelial function (control of heart relaxation and contraction, blood clotting, immune function and platelet adhesion), reduced insulin sensitivity, and lowered cardiorespiratory fitness, while increasing total body fat. As soon as the individuals resumed normal activity levels these impairments were reversed.

If we can raise awareness about the health implications for leading a sedentary lifestyle with low levels of physical activity and poor diet, then it can only help reduce levels of the world's biggest killer, cardiovascular disease.


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