Most people understand that factors such as obesity, smoking and poor diet increase the risk of developing chronic illnesses and other medical problems. What many people do not realize is that lack of physical activity, even in individuals who are not overweight, is every bit as dangerous to overall health.
Lack of physical activity significantly increases the risk of developing serious diseases and medical conditions, including hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, gallstones, and colon and breast cancer. Inactivity is also linked to higher instances of anxiety, depression and other mental health-related conditions. Sedentary individuals are also more than twice as likely as active individuals to become obese.
The good news is that you can significantly decrease your risk of developing these conditions by incorporating more movement into your life. If you work at a desk job or sit for more than six hours per day, it is particularly important to increase your activity levels. Ideally, you should also perform exercises specifically designed to combat the effects of sitting. These added measures will not only reduce your overall risk of developing chronic disease; they will also help to fight or reverse other problems associated with prolonged sitting, such as back and neck pain.
The amount of activity you need and the exercises from which you will benefit the most are heavily dependent upon your individual circumstances, including your job, the number of hours per day you spend sitting, your current fitness and activity levels, and any medical conditions from which you already suffer.
A great way to make sure you are incorporating the most beneficial types of activity and exercises into your day is to use your health insurance benefits to schedule a physiotherapy assessment. Your physiotherapist will conduct a personalized evaluation and will work with you to create an exercise plan tailored to your unique circumstances and needs. Your plan will include exercises for both home and work that are designed to reduce the risk of chronic disease associated with a sedentary lifestyle. Your physiotherapist may also be able to provide treatment for existing physical pain or problems. Most importantly, you will receive the information you need to help you maintain a healthy activity level permanently.