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What is Sedentary Lifestyle? Causes and Ways to Overcome It

Admin BFI
20 March 2024
What is Sedentary Lifestyle? Causes and Ways to Overcome It

The rapid advancement of technology has had an impact on lifestyles, which now tend to be unhealthy. The situation is further complicated by the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, which rapidly changed work patterns and habits, forcing many people to stay at home without moving around. The impact of these changes has made sedentary lifestyle the dominant trend today. So, what is a sedentary lifestyle? How to overcome it?



1. What is Sedentary Lifestyle?

1.1 Meaning of Sedentary Lifestyle

Literally, the meaning of a sedentary lifestyle is all activities or actions done outside of sleeping time, but the activities performed do not expend many calories. Such activities include watching TV, working with computers, and other low-movement activities. Sedentary lifestyle itself has become a common lifestyle, but it has increased with the COVID-19 pandemic.

1.2 Signs You Are Leading a Sedentary Lifestyle

Although a sedentary lifestyle is a common occurrence, it becomes evident through several signs if you are obsessed with this lifestyle:

  1. Having difficulty sleeping or insomnia. You also often unintentionally wake up at night, even though you should be resting at that time.
  2. Feeling tired, lethargic, or lacking energy, even though you feel you have had enough sleep or haven't engaged in excessive physical activity.
  3. Pain in the shoulders or back due to uncomfortable sitting positions.
  4. Difficulty concentrating on daily activities, making it hard for you to focus and pay attention to assigned tasks.
  5. Significant weight gain.


2. Causes of Sedentary Lifestyle

Sedentary lifestyle or sedentary behavior is caused by various factors. The following are factors commonly experienced by the community that trigger sedentary lifestyles:

2.1 Rare Exercise

Exercise is something that everyone should do. Besides helping to keep the body slim, exercise is done to keep the body fit and facilitate calorie expenditure. With infrequent exercise, you only burn a small amount of calories each day, leading to a sedentary lifestyle.

2.2 Desk-bound Work

Desk-bound jobs without other activities lead to such a lifestyle. Coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, which allows work to be done at home, this situation causes people who used to burn calories when commuting to work to just sit at home. Spending too much time sitting in front of a computer and doing little physical activity leads to the emergence of a sedentary lifestyle.

2.3 Technological Lifestyle

The increased use of technology, such as electronic devices and social media, can be an additional factor driving sedentary lifestyles. Dependency on these devices can reduce the time that should be spent on physical activities, such as walking or exercising. Spending too much time in front of screens can also lead to a lack of motivation to move, ultimately contributing to a less active lifestyle.

3. Impacts of Sedentary Lifestyle

Certainly, this unhealthy lifestyle has many adverse effects on individuals. Here are various types of impacts resulting from such a lifestyle:


3.1 Impacts of Sedentary Lifestyle on Health

Minimal physical activity will undoubtedly disrupt the body's metabolism. This leads to an increased risk of health problems. Here are the impacts on your health:

  1. Diabetes

When someone is minimally active, their body has difficulty regulating blood sugar levels. This leads to insulin resistance, a condition where the body cannot utilize insulin effectively. This leads to increased blood sugar levels. With increased blood sugar levels and insulin resistance, a sedentary lifestyle can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.

  1. Obesity

A sedentary lifestyle, meaning minimal physical activity, leads to fat accumulation. This is caused by the calories in a person's body not being easily burned, even though energy continues to enter the body in the form of food consumed. Additionally, lack of sleep caused by a sedentary lifestyle also increases the level of the hormone ghrelin, which can stimulate appetite. This results in more energy entering without any physical activity to offset it. Fat accumulation can lead to overweight or obesity.

  1. Mental Health

Studies have shown that a lifestyle with minimal physical activity or sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of depression and anxiety. HealthPartners has indicated that engaging in physical activity can trigger the release of serotonin hormone, which plays a crucial role in improving a person's mood. Conversely, lack of physical activity can lead to a decrease in the release of serotonin hormone, which in turn can reduce a person's positive mood and motivation.

  1. Heart Health

A sedentary lifestyle, which can lead to obesity, has negative potential effects on a person's heart health. This is due to the tendency to move less, which can increase blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the blood, potentially leading to heart disease. A sedentary lifestyle can also lead to the accumulation of plaque in the arterial walls, resulting in reduced blood flow to the heart and causing serious health problems, such as heart attacks.

  1. Cancer

A sedentary lifestyle itself may potentially trigger cancer. With a lack of physical activity, there is potential for immune system impairment and increased production of certain hormones that play a role in triggering the growth of cancer cells. Therefore, such a lifestyle can increase the risk of several types of cancer that contribute to mortality, such as colorectal cancer, breast cancer, and lung cancer. However, further research is needed to better understand the relationship between sedentary lifestyle and the risk of cancer.

3.2 Impacts of Sedentary Lifestyle on Finances

In addition to affecting health, this unhealthy lifestyle may also have significant financial implications for individuals. Here are some financial implications that may arise due to adopting a sedentary lifestyle:

  1. Reduced Work Enthusiasm

A less active lifestyle can reduce a person's energy and work enthusiasm. This condition can lead to decreased productivity and work quality, which in turn can affect job performance and potential salary increases or promotions.

  1. Additional Health Expenses

Sedentary lifestyle often correlates with health problems such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. As a result, an individual may face additional costs for medical care, medications, or therapies that can strain personal finances.

  1. Income Reduction

A sedentary lifestyle can contribute to health disruptions that limit a person's ability to work optimally or even result in excessive absenteeism. This can impact a person's income due to frequent absences or impaired work performance.


4. Overcoming Sedentary Lifestyle

Sedentary lifestyle can have a negative impact on your health. To address this issue, you can take the following steps:

4.1 Start with Yourself

The first step in overcoming a sedentary lifestyle is self-awareness. Recognize your current lifestyle patterns and identify inactive habits that need to be changed. Motivate yourself to change and increase awareness of the importance of physical activity in maintaining health.

4.2 Consume Nutritious Foods

Nutritious foods play a key role in supporting a healthy lifestyle. Choose foods rich in nutrients, fiber, and vitamins. Avoid consumption of fast food or high-sugar foods, and increase intake of fruits, vegetables, and quality protein to support energy and body fitness.

4.3 Exercise

Regular physical activity is key to combating a sedentary lifestyle. Find a form of exercise or physical activity that you enjoy, such as walking, cycling, swimming, or participating in sports classes. Set a regular exercise schedule, whether at the gym or at home, to maintain body fitness.

4.4 Socialization

Socializing with friends, family, or community members can be an effective way to reduce inactive lifestyles. Choose social activities that involve movement, such as walking together, playing group sports, or attending classes together. Socializing not only increases physical activity but also provides important social support.

4.5 Discipline

Build discipline in maintaining an active lifestyle. Set daily or weekly targets for physical activity and strive to adhere to them. Create a regular schedule and ensure you prioritize time for movement. By making physical activity an integral part of your daily routine, you can effectively overcome a sedentary lifestyle and improve overall health.

4.6 Keep Yourself Busy with Positive Activities

Fill your leisure time with positive activities that involve physical movement. Start new hobbies such as gardening, arts, or volunteering. By engaging in activities you enjoy, you will be more likely to be active and reduce prolonged sitting time. You can also keep yourself busy by seeking additional income opportunities through business ventures.


In conclusion, that's the discussion about sedentary lifestyle. Hopefully, all of you can avoid this bad habit. Prioritize exercise, consume healthy food and drinks, and reduce stress.


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