When I started college as an adult student, no one told me that college would be extremely sedentary. Going to college means sitting at a desk, reading books and writing papers for hours on end. Maybe I could walk on a treadmill or cycle a stationary bike while reading, but I can’t do that while writing a paper. Being sedentary gets to me, it cripples me, it’s my torture. My legs would start to hurt from sitting all day. Sitting all day doing homework was the worst thing about college.
A sedentary lifestyle can reduce metabolism, effect blood sugar levels and hinder the body’s ability to regulate blood pressure and break down fat (Kandola). Remember back to THIS post about stress and cortisol causing belly fat? Not only does cortisol cause the body to cling to extra weight but being sedentary blocks the ability to break down fat. It’s a double-whammy.
There are both physical and mental effects of a sedentary lifestyle as it can lead to risks of depression (Kandola). Chinese researches have linked a sedentary lifestyle to a 25% higher risk of depression (Lehman). It’s a vicious cycle, sedentary lifestyles leads to depression but depression leads to not wanting to be active and creating a sedentary lifestyle. Speaking for myself, being sedentary and doing homework on the weekends was making me go crazy (Think Jack from The Shining).
Now that college is over, what can I do to combat the effects of a sedentary lifestyle? Start with small changes… Park in a spot farther away from a building and walk, use the stairs not the elevatory, rake leaves, work in the garden, walk a dog, clean the house… JUST MOVE!
What are some ways you move?
Kandola, A. (2018, August 29). Sedentary lifestyle: Effects, solutions, and statistics. Retrieved December 29, 2019, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322910.php.
Lehman, S. (2014, September 18). Sedentary lifestyle linked to depression. Retrieved December 29, 2019, from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-depression-sedentary/sedentary-lifestyle-linked-to-depression-idUSKBN0HD2K120140918.