Everyone is aware that smoking is injurious to health. Just like smoking, if you are physically inactive, that is, you spend most of the time sitting you are more prone to health diseases and infections.
A sedentary lifestyle leads to poor health outcomes. Studies have demonstrated that greater times spent sitting, viewing television and using a computer may be unfavorably associated with poor health.
No doubt, technology has made our lives easier, but not getting out of the comfort zone has made things more difficult for humans. Let’s find out how being a potato couch can damage your health:
Causes Liver Damage:
It is very well-known that alcohol damages the liver, but being physically inactive can also do the same. Sitting for a prolonged period of time increases the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Sedentary behavior causes the development and progression of low grade inflammation. Pro-inflammatory markers damage the liver cells and cause hardening of the liver. This affects the structure and function of the liver negatively.
Furthermore, NAFLD can be treated with physical activity and exercise, along with medications and other lifestyle modifications.
Weakens The Heart:
Having high blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels is a huge risk factor for heart diseases. Studies have found that individuals who are physically active have lower levels of blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels as compared to sedentary individuals. Hence, active individuals are at a lower risk of heart diseases.
Besides this, physical activity increases the levels of HDL cholesterol, which protects the heart and strengthens it. Individuals who are less active have low levels of this heart-protective cholesterol. This further pushes them towards cardiovascular diseases.
Increases The Risk Of Diabetes Mellitus:
Sedentary lifestyle is a mediator of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Inactivity impairs glycemic control, which suggests that sedentary behavior may play a key role in the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Physical activity makes the body more sensitive to insulin. This allows glucose to enter into the cells and prevents the presence of excess glucose in the bloodstream. Hence, physical activity is needed to keep insulin working effectively.
A sedentary lifestyle reduces the ability of the body to fight against infections. Regular exercise and physical activity boost the immune function and health.
A sedentary behavior is associated with persistent inflammatory state, which is a typical feature of various diseases and disorders.
An interesting study found that individuals who habitually participate in moderate-intensity exercise are less likely to incur an infection than their sedentary counterparts.
Active individuals have an enhanced immunity because they have greater T-cell responsiveness. T-cells are immune cells that protect the body against the harmful effects of bacteria, parasites, viruses and other foreign substances.
Individuals who are active also have longer telomere lengths, which prevents the cells from dying and protects the DNA against damage.
Hence, exercising regularly can strengthen the immune system of the body and keep infections at bay.
Poor Kidney Function:
Sedentary behavior is linked to reduced kidney function and kidney damage. One interesting study observed that sitting periods of 30 minutes or more could negatively affect the kidney function.
Sitting for more periods of time reduces the blood flow towards the kidneys. This affects the ability of the kidneys to filter out the waste products.
This may further lead to accumulation of the waste products and toxins in the blood, which may deteriorate the overall health.
Inactivity can also lead to endothelial dysfunction, wherein the inner lining of the blood vessels is damaged, which leads to inflammation and obstructs blood flow.
Physical inactivity is the leading cause of disease and disability. Therefore, it is important to stay physically active and exercise minimum five days a week.