Long-Term Effects of a Sedentary Lifestyle

Leading a sedentary lifestyle can have many health implications that every person needs to consider. Being lazy for a day or two is one thing, but living a sedentary lifestyle has long-term effects that can affect a person’s well-being greatly. With technology, making everything at the tip of our fingers, the need to get up and perform the basic level of physical activity has vanished, leading to the risks of long-term effects of a sedentary lifestyle apply to more people on a regular basis. Many people have desk-jobs that include sitting for over 8 hours a day and then go back home to watching TV or performing more sitting activities, making them guilty of leading a sedentary lifestyle. 

The first thing you need to understand is what is actually classified as a sedentary lifestyle and what form of minimal physical activity is essential to keep health risks at bay. The lifestyle of a sedentary person is characterized by that of which the person in question performs from little to no physical activities to stay healthy. Although items like the chair serve as a useful resource that allows us to rest and is considered a great tool for humanity, we should not overuse such resources and be inactive for too long. When an individual does not perform an average of 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, it shows that they’re at risk of suffering from the long-term health effects of physical inactivity. You’d be shocked to know that almost 60-85% of the human population on a global level do not get enough exercise or activity within their day, leading to become one of the top 5 reasons for mortality. 

  • Obesity 

One of the most common problems that people who do not perform enough physical activity face is obesity. Due to the lack of activity, the body is at risk of gaining weight on a regular basis as the minimal effort which burns calories on a daily basis does not seem to take place, so everything you consume results in gaining weight. Obesity doesn’t only cause self-confidence and other psychological problems, but it can also increase the risk of heart diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure as well as many other factors. 

  • Long-Term Effects of a Sedentary Lifestyle

When the body is inactive for long periods of time and tends to be in a sedentary position, it tends to increase its resistance to insulin, leading to one of the most common forms of diabetes: type 2 diabetes. Sitting for long periods of time can also really affect the metabolism, which in turn affects the amount of energy the body gets from food. In order to try and prevent this long-term health concern, getting up every 30 mins and moving around is essential to prevent your body from messing up with its insulin production and to keep the metabolism working. However, the best alternative would be to perform exercises on a regular basis and to reduce the consumption of food. 

  • Depression and Anxiety 

There’s a strong relationship between physical inactivity and mental health issues. It is quite common for a person who performs little or no physical activity to feel restless, anxious, nervous and even depressed and quite blue. While exercising has many health benefits, it also helps release endorphins in the body that elevate the mood and make a person feel happy. In the process of exercising, the body also gets rid of negative energies and clears the mind. On the other hand, sitting for long hours on your desk job, playing video games excessively or even binge-watching TV shows while lying in bed on a regular basis can cause the body to perform below the average physical activity needed, which stores all the negative energies and frustration and leads to depression. 

  • Cancer 

The sitting disease can also increase your risk of getting cancer by as high as 24%. Because of the high-level of inactivity and the increased risks of obesity that come with it, the level of body fat in the body skyrockets, spiking up the risk of cancer. Not only does that increase the risk of attack on your body’s cells, but it also produces hormones that lead to cell proliferation where the cells grow and divide rapidly causing any damaged cells to multiply in numbers.


In order to prevent these devastating long-term effects of a sedentary lifestyle, a person must avoid sitting for longer than 30 minutes in one go. It’s also recommended to try and include as much physical activity as possible in your day and walk at least 10,000 steps on a regular basis. Adding exercise 3 times a week is also necessary to prevent these health risks from occurring and keeping your body safe. 

Photo credits: coworkinglondon.com