Sedentary lifestyle. I bet that every working individual, be it in service or a business owner, must have heard this term at least once in their lives. But what you might not know is:
- Almost 2 million people die every year due to avoidable causes attributable to physical inactivity, and
- A sedentary lifestyle is among the ten leading causes of disability and death in the world.
I do not say this, nor any random study. The above facts come directly from the World Health Organization.
Now that I have your attention, let us understand: What is a sedentary lifestyle?
It is the way of leading a life that involves a bare minimum or no physical activity. A sedentary lifestyle stems from sedentary behavior. And sitting or lying down (except sleeping) are considered sedentary behaviors.
People often confuse being sedentary as being physically inactive, and observing frequent and long periods of inactivity falls under the former. Being physically active during sometime of the day and having long sitting hours is considered sedentary behavior. You can be sedentary at work or home, while studying or while traveling.
Why should you avoid a sedentary lifestyle?
In the long term, sedentary behavior could leave you prone to a host of health problems.
- Increased chances of cardiovascular diseases
- High blood pressure
- And many mental health issues, including depression and anxiety.
The list above is not exhaustive.
Are tech employees at higher risk?
Yes, they are. People in the tech industry spend almost six hours daily at the office sitting in the same posture and working. Mind you, the number of hours is on the higher side in certain organizations and for specific job roles.
Sedentary lifestyle problems, mental health issues, low work productivity, etc., are indirectly associated. A research paper by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health states that employees who spent more than 91% of their day sitting reported low productivity in comparison to those who spent less than 75% of their day being sedentary. The paper also brought to light that employees between the 20 to 39 years age bracket with higher job-related sedentary behavior were less efficient than those with low job-related sedentary behavior.
Right now, we are just skimming the surface. But the facts and data available deep down do not paint a pleasant picture.
What is the solution?
- Using stairs instead of the lift.
- Attending calls while walking.
- Trying to move around while working. For example, standing up once every hour and taking a stroll around.
- Replacing tea breaks with walk breaks.
- At home, a daily physical activity like walking or dancing or simply doing house chores.
There are many ways to lead an active life with minimum efforts at home and workplace.
How can companies help?
Every company wants its employees in good health because their productivity is directly proportional to their physical and mental fitness. Recently at Sarvika Technologies, we organized an event that called Sarvikans to put their dancing shoes on!
It was the Feb month’s Open House event on the theme of health and fitness. A certified Zumba trainer was invited to show Sarvikans how fun exercising is! The hour-long session was subdivided into activities that focused on meditation, deep breathing exercises, movements targeting specific body parts, and a mildly intense dance session for Sarvikans to sweat their stress out.
The onus of a healthy you lie on you.
Ask yourself this question: Am I fit enough today to retire and enjoy a stress-free life tomorrow?
Almost half the world’s population today is suffering from gastric issues like indigestion, acidity, and whatnot. And the amount of money young people spend on doctor visits and medicines is shocking. If there is a possibility to avoid loss of time, money, and mental peace by incorporating small life changes, isn’t it worth trying?