While the many benefits of regular physical exercise are widely known and well-publicized by many governments, a significant portion of people are still living a sedentary lifestyle. Since the human body has evolved to move around, those who spend a large portion of the day sitting down put themselves at risk for a number of different serious health problems.
While the memory center in your brain, also known as the hippocampus, naturally deteriorates with age, a sedentary lifestyle speeds this process up dramatically, making you much more likely to experience memory problems. However, this can soon be changed with regular physical activity, which has been proven to be able to increase the size of the hippocampus.
Sitting down for a prolonged period of time causes your blood flow to become quite sluggish, making it much more likely to form a clot and become lodged in your lungs. The reason for this is that your spine curves as you slouch, which puts excess strain on your spinal cord, preventing your lungs from expanding fully. The more time you spend sedentary, the higher the chance of this happening is, with sedentary women experiencing double the risk of developing a pulmonary embolism, also known as a blood clot in the lungs, than those who are more active. The way in which your lungs are not able to properly expand also has an impact on the amount of oxygen you are able to take in, which affects circulation.
It does not take long for the lack of physical activity to lead to a loss of lean muscle tissue, which not only causes a loss in body weight, but also makes it much harder to carry out everyday tasks. From dressing and bathing yourself to doing your grocery shopping, losing too much of this important muscle tissue will make these tasks extremely challenging.
Your Immune System and Energy Levels
Your immune system suffers quite a bit when your body is still for long period of time, and this makes you much more susceptible to colds and other such illnesses. When it comes to energy levels, those who do not exercise enough will begin to fall into quite a slump, and your body will be using the minimum amount of energy to heal and repair itself.
Sedentary behavior has been strongly linked to an increased risk of cancer, especially when it comes to breast cancer, colon cancer and endometrial cancer. Studies have shown that those who spend at least 7 hours a day sitting down end up with a 22% increased chance of cancer mortality compared to those who sit for no more than one hour a day.
Even if your job requires you to spend all day at a desk, it is still easy to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle, therefore avoiding all of the health problems mentioned above. From regular walking breaks during the day to a heart-pumping workout in the evenings, keep your body as active as possible to keep your health thriving.