Sedentary.

sed·en·tar·y
/ˈsednˌterē/
adjective
· (of a person) tending to spend much time seated; somewhat inactive
· (of work or a way of life) characterized by much sitting and little
· (of a position) sitting; seated

When I hear the word “sedentary,” it makes me think of any time I filled out a questionnaire that was calculating my calories or determining some other kind of wellness recommendation.

Activity Level: Sedentary

Years ago, I lived a fairly active lifestyle. I was a nanny for some pretty great kids (one of which just graduated high school – let’s let that sink in!) and they kept me on my toes! We were always on the go and I wish it had been in the days of the smart watch because OH BOY! The steps I would have logged on that thing.

When I left my nanny gig, I moved to a desk job and proceeded to work behind a desk for the next ten years. The weight gain didn’t happen overnight. It gradually happened over the course of those ten years. I never really had to exercise before because I was active and my metabolism was mostly on my side, so I wasn’t inclined to start then. One day I realized, whoa, you need to do something. So I wasted money at an assortment of gyms, did some walking, and never really made much progress.

Now I’m back to working a job where I remain active throughout the day, AND I’m exercising regularly. Part of my job requires me to be seated and writing also requires me to be seated, but that’s where the exercise comes in handy. I think one side benefit to being active is that you want to STAY active. You want to keep moving. Sure, sometimes I get tired and want to take a mid-day nap, and there’s no shame in that, but for the most part I’m of the mindset: what’s next? I want to go Go GO!

Back to that term…sedentary. I’m not anymore, and it’s a good thing because WHOA health risks.

– Physical inactivity may increase the risks of certain cancers.
– Physical inactivity may contribute to anxiety and depression.
– Physical inactivity has been shown to be a risk factor for certain cardiovascular diseases.
– People who engage in more physical activity are less likely to develop coronary heart disease.
– People who are more active are less likely to be overweight or obese.
– Sitting too much may cause a decrease in skeletal muscle mass.
– Physical inactivity is linked to high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol levels.

Worldwide, it is estimated that a sedentary lifestyle is responsible for 6% of coronary heart disease cases, 7% of type 2 diabetes, 10% of breast cancer and 10% of colon cancer cases. In fact, it was recently reported that inactivity is responsible for more annual deaths than smoking.

LifeSpan Fitness
LifeSpan Fitness

Crazy stuff, right? Makes me want to get up and move! I think my next investment will be one of those desks that raise up so you can stand while you work.

For anyone who has a desk job, do a Google search for “exercises you can do at your desk” and you’ll get a wide variety of options to get your blood pumping during the workday. I wish I’d done more of that when I worked behind a desk, or at least had a pedometer to get me going.

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