In our last blog we discussed about the different states of physical activity/ lifestyle and that our calorie intake needs to be equal to the level of physical activity. Today most of us city dwellers in white collar jobs fall into “Sedentary” lifestyle category. Infact not just adults but also kids are becoming more and more physically inactive thanks to the smartphones, ipads, TV’s, etc. These lifestyle changes have adverse effects on our health.Sedentary derives from the Latin word ‘sedere’, which means ‘to sit’. This includes any activity that has a low-level energy expenditure.
At rest, the organs of the body require an essential amount of energy for vital functioning which is known as the basal metabolic rate (BMR). Each motion, action, and gesture entails an additional energy cost. The more active we are the more energy we expend.
Health risks of sitting too long
Sitting is becoming a normal routine for most people across age-groups. Babies/ infants are made to sit in front of the TV or iPad so that parents get some time-off, children are spending more time in front of TV and on gadgets, youth are sitting at work-desks and then with pizzas in front of the TV and so are all others on white-collar jobs.
Extensive periods of inactivity are linked to obesity, but this relationship is complex. Many studies have found that young people who watch more TV have higher dietary energy intakes, through consuming energy-dense foods and drinks whilst watching TV, or this might possibly be due to advertising or psychosocial effects.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended a restriction on screen-based media use for children and adolescents of 1–2 hours per day, and to remove media from their bedrooms.Such viewing may displace other interactive activities crucial for natural development, and is therefore ill-advised for children under two years.
Prolonged sitting time is thought to slow down the body’s functions related to utilisation of fats and carbohydrates, possibly because of the absence of muscle contraction. These adverse health effects may be why sedentary behaviour is associated with an increased risk of metabolic syndrome, CVD, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers and all-cause mortality in adults, and CVD markers in adolescents.Inactivity is also known to disturb bone mineralisation, reduce bone density (which increases the risk of osteoporosis), and possibly cause deep vein thrombosis and muscular discomfort, such as back pain.
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Dr. Pooja, Senior Nutritionist @eKincare.com