Lack of physical activity is an inexhaustible source of health problems. A 2020 study published in the prestigious British Journal of Sports Medicine measured the physical activity needed to counteract the negative effects of 10 hours a day of sedentary lifestyle. Although the health consequences may be relevant, the truth is that it is not necessary to spend hours in the gym or run for hours to eliminate the damage of a life without exercise.
A sedentary lifestyle favors the appearance of diseases that can shorten life. Heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and some types of cancer are some of the pathologies that are closely related to a dangerous lifestyle for health. Some habits that during the hardest months of the pandemic became widespread.
A problem that has no age
The prognosis worsens if excess stress and a diet that is far from balanced are added to the lack of physical activity. Something that those responsible for the study verified as frequent in the lifestyle of the more than 44,000 people from four countries that were the basis of the investigation. Between working hours, commuting and the commitment to increasingly passive leisure, the amount of time we spend sitting works against our well-being.
One of the characteristics of this true epidemic is that it is ageless. Changes in the habits of children and adolescents, with the prominence of video games, favor the appearance of overweight and obesity earlier and earlier. At the other end of the age pyramid of the population, seniors, although for different reasons, are exposed to the temptation of a greater sedentary lifestyle that the restrictions due to the pandemic have exacerbated.
40 minutes daily
The key to counteracting the lack of movement is to dedicate 40 minutes a day to physical activity. The estimates of the study is that this dedication neutralizes the damage caused by 10 hours of sedentary lifestyle.
Walking, at a good pace, is essential within this health plan. Climbing stairs also has a very beneficial effect on the body. These are two activities that, in principle, can be included in the daily life of most people by giving up the elevator and escalators.
In the same way, it is necessary to do without the car and the motorcycle for urban trips, something that the environment will appreciate, and walk or use a bicycle to reach the destination. The positive effects begin to be clearly perceived by dedicating 20 minutes a day to physical activity.
A magnificent complement to this plan is the practice of exercises that favor the elasticity of the muscles. In this sense, yoga is particularly suitable and can be practiced at any age.
Swimming and even dancing can be included in the activity plan to improve health. In the case of young people and children, the World Health Organization (WHO) goes further and recommends 60 minutes of daily activity. It is a health issue.