From diseases to short life span, physical inactivity has become one of the leading causes of death globally. Prolonged non-active physical behavior promotes increased high blood pressure,type-2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and different kinds of cancers.
It may sound disturbing, but, as of now, sedentary behavior is the cause of 8% of deaths across the globe. On the surface, a sedentary lifestyle may sound appealing, but it comes with many strings attached.
COVID-19 and Lack of Exercise
Yes, people with inactive physical lifestyles have a high chance of hospitalization. In fact, a study confirms that COVID-19 in patients who indulge in sedentary habits is more likely to be fatal. The AFP report also highlights that the lack of exercise is associated with severe COVID-19 symptoms.
Researchers had made it clear that many non-communicable diseases boil down to the sedentary lifestyle even before the pandemic crisis. And apart from high blood pressure, an inactive physical lifestyle increases the chances of dementia by 8%.
Sedentary Behavior: Geographic Outlook
Officially, the American National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute views 150 minutes or less sedentary behavior as physical inactivity. Ironically, individuals from rich and developed nations are 2x times more likely to suffer from a major disease due to physical inactivity.
However, individuals from middle-income nations are at high risk of sedentary behavior due to large populations. What’s disheartening is that more than 70% of heart disease fatalities are related to physical inactivity worldwide.
According to Peter Katzmarzyk’s research, Caribbean countries, Asian Pacific nations, and Latin America bear the burden of most fatalities from prolonged physical inactivity. Peter Katzmarzyk’s published research in the British Journal of Medicine also highlights the collective reasoning behind sedentary behavior.
The Need for More Awareness and Advocacy
There is an urgent need to advocate for issues that stem from physical inactivity. It means that a mainstream approach to raise awareness about the natural consequences of sedentary behavior across the globe should be implemented. The same study also mentions that the lowest sedentary rates are in Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
High Obesity Rate in America
Remember that the highest obesity rate is in the United States, which calls for more mental health and fitness initiatives to reduce sedentary behavior. Another study characterizes the cause-and-effect of physical inactivity for a long time.
Ultimately, it mentions that sedentary behavior as a public health crisis deserves attention on a global scale. The reality dictates an international collaboration that would help devise, implement, and streamline public health objectives.
Global Initiative Matters
A few years ago, the World Health Organization decided to bring down the global physical inactivity levels by at least 15% by 2030. But there is a need for more grass-root level initiatives that can decrease the total number of individuals with inactive physical behavior around the world.
After all, the active physical drive of at leastfive years reduces the risk of fatal diseases by 44%. Regular exercise makes it possible to prevent common diseases. An active physical routine is now a recognized way to avoid diseases such as type-2 diabetes and colon cancer.
Recommended Physical Activity
According to the British Journal of Sports Medicine, an adult should take up moderate exercise for at least 30 minutes 5 times a week. Scientifically, this moderate exercise is equivalent to 3-6 METs, and ideally coincides with disease prevention.
On average, trials from the study highlight additional benefits to undertaking at least 30 minutes of exercise daily. Individuals can also take 10-15 minutes of exercise at a time to reach the 30 minutes mark. But healthcare professionals and fitness experts insist that people need more motivation in the digital age to take up an exercise routine.
As the pandemic managed to force the vast majority of the global population indoors, it is even more crucial to undertake various physical exercises. In fact, COVID-19 is the main reason why medical professionals concur there might be an increased number of sedentary individuals worldwide.
Although there are various economic and cultural factors, international cooperation is the key to bring down the high number of inactive individuals throughout the world. The pressure of capitalist society and modern living are not easy. But most studies hint towards an immediate response to mobilize and mitigate a severe public health crisis.