Being sedentary can feel as though it’s the most practical or comfortable way to spend a day. It could be that you have a job or many tasks to complete that require you to sit at a desk or a table for hours at a time. Alternately, after spending all week working and sitting at your desk, you may feel exhausted and want nothing more than to spend most of your weekend relaxing on the couch and binging a new series. Unfortunately, extended inactive periods are terrible for your metabolism, your digestion, your weight and your health.
The Affect of Being Sedentary on Your Metabolism
Being sedentary for extended periods will nearly always reduce your metabolism. At the same time, it also holds back the body’s blood sugar level control, blood pressure regulation, and capacity for breaking down fat. If your goal is weight loss, weight maintenance or overall health, then this means that being inactive for large periods of time will work in direct opposition to where you want to be.
Research has shown that being sedentary on a regular basis contributes to the risk of:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Certain forms of cancer
- Early death
Metabolic Impact of Chronic Inactivity
Being sedentary has a widespread impact on the human body. Technically speaking, it decreases lipoprotein lipase activity, reduces muscle glucose, holds back protein transporter activities, impairs lipid metabolism, and shrinks carbohydrate metabolism.
What does that mean? It means that when you’re regularly inactive, it affects the digestion of every macronutrient (fats, proteins and carbohydrates), it alters the energy your muscles receive, and it affects the way your body fat is maintained and used.
How to Overcome Being Sedentary Too Often
It’s all well and good to say that it’s simple to stop being sedentary. All you need to do is move around, right? Great! Except that many of us work at jobs that require us to stay at a desk or in another sitting or standing position that doesn’t allow us to move around very much. What then?
It’s true that the situation isn’t ideal, but in those very common cases, it’s up to us to do what we have in the opportunities we have to be active. Even a five- or ten-minute brisk walk on a break or during a lunchbreak can make a difference.
If it’s possible, get up from your desk, stretch, and march in place for thirty seconds every now and again. It will not only boost your metabolism and support your health, but it will also help you to feel more alert, making it easier to be focused and productive.