Consequences of physical inactivity

Every year, tens of thousands of people die as a result of a lack of regular physical activity. In addition:

  • Women are more prone than men to lead sedentary lifestyles.
  • Inactivity tends to increase with age.
  • Non-Hispanic white adults are more likely to engage in physical activity than Hispanic and black adults.

Being a couch potato is a bad thing. Not working out. Sedentary or inactive behavior. You’ve probably heard of all of these terms, and they all refer to a lifestyle that involves a lot of sitting and lying down with little to no activity.

Sedentary activities are becoming increasingly popular in the United States and around the world. We spend a lot of our free time sitting: on a computer or other gadget, watching TV, or playing video games. Many of our occupations have become increasingly sedentary, requiring us to sit at a desk for long periods of time. And the majority of us travel by car, bus, or train, which requires us to sit.

What are the health risks of an inactive lifestyle?
Lack of physical activity has clearly been shown to be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and other conditions:

  • Less active and less fit people have a greater risk of developing high blood pressure.
  • Physical activity can reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes.
  • Studies show that physically active people are less likely to develop coronary heart disease than those who are inactive. This is even after researchers accounted for smoking, alcohol use, and diet.
  • Lack of physical activity can add to feelings of anxiety and depression.
  • Physical inactivity may increase the risk of certain cancers.
  • Physically active overweight or obese people significantly reduced their risk for disease with regular physical activity.
  • Older adults who are physically active can reduce their risk for falls and improve their ability to do daily activities.

How can I get started with exercise?
You may need to start gently if you have been idle. You can gradually increase the amount of exercise you do. The more you are able to accomplish, the better. However, try not to get overwhelmed and do your best. It is always preferable to get some exercise over none. Your ultimate goal may be to achieve the recommended amount of exercise for your age and health.

There are numerous ways to exercise; it is critical to determine which types are best for you. You might also try to incorporate more movement into your life in tiny ways, such as at work or at home.