Sedentary lifestyle


The development of technology has facilitated human activity from the workplace to leisure activities ; Despite the multiple benefits (such as saving time), there has been a negative impact on the health of people who spend long hours sitting out of obligation or choose to be like that. It will be necessary, then, for the world population to be made aware of the negative effects of sedentary lifestyle.

What is sedentary lifestyle?

sedentary lifestyle is the low performance of physical activity for less than 15 minutes and three times a week , it should not be confused with physical inactivity and should be understood as a public health problem worldwide that requires immediate intervention.

  • Definition of sedentary lifestyle
  • Characteristics
  • How did it come about
  • Story
  • Causes
  • Consequences of sedentary lifestyle
  • Prevention
  • Types of sedentary lifestyle
  • Advantage
  • Disadvantages
  • Related diseases
  • Importance
  • Books on sedentary lifestyle

Definition of sedentary lifestyle

A sedentary lifestyle is understood to be physical activity for less than 15 minutes and less than three times a week during the last three months; It should be noted that in order to qualify a person as sedentary, it is necessary to take into consideration the systematic way in which they have done physical exercise before.


The Dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy states that sedentary lifestyle is the attitude of the person who has a sedentary life.

It should be noted that sedentary lifestyle is not the same as physical inactivity, being sedentary an activity done during wakefulness that is characterized by an energy expenditure equal to or less than 1.5 METs; while physical inactivity is the insufficient performance of moderate physical activity, between 3 and 6 METs , or vigorous, more than 6 METs.

Sedentary lifestyle is also a risk factor for mortality , but it is modifiable through physical activity.


Sedentary behavior is understood to be:

  • Doing an activity while sitting or reclining.
  • Have a low energy expenditure while doing this activity.
  • Perform this activity while the person is awake.

How did it come about

The reason why many nomadic peoples became sedentary is linked to agriculture . The establishment took place at the end of the Holocene , the first agricultural peoples were located in the Middle East .


It was a major climate change that allowed humans to become sedentary from nomadic . By enjoying a more friendly climate, it was easier for man to get different food-type resources , some were obtained naturally and others were achieved with the combination of the first cereals that were domesticated through cultivation.

Another reason for the sedentary lifestyle was the domestication of animals, which fully covered the supply of meat necessary to live.


The increase in sedentary lifestyle is due to the following:

  • When moving, people have adopted sedentary behaviors by increasing the use of private cars and public transport , instead of using the bicycle or walking; also by using the elevators or escalators instead of the traditional stairs.
  • The activities carried out during leisure time are based on the use of electronic devices with screens : television, computers, cell phones, video game consoles, etc .; leaving aside other ways of occupying free time such as: walking, playing, exercising, practicing sports, etc.
  • When doing housework, more appliances are used to facilitate chores: washing machines, dishwashers, robot vacuum cleaners, kitchen robots, etc .; which reduces the physical activity necessary to perform them if it were done manually.
  • In the work environment, the use of machines have replaced the physical strength of workers, making them handle them seated.

Consequences of sedentary lifestyle

The main consequences of sedentary lifestyle are:

  • Sedentary lifestyle has become a public health problem; Therefore, health professionals are taking measures aimed at promoting physical activity throughout society, especially in older adults.
  • A sedentary person will be characterized by obesity , hypertension or high cholesterol, being a regular smoker and their diet is unbalanced.
  • Mortality risk for any home, which increases as the hours sitting per day increase.
  • Cardiovascular and metabolic problems .
  • Mental health problems such as distress , depression , anxiety , etc.


It has been shown that active life and regular physical exercise contribute to eliminating sedentary lifestyle and positively impacting the health of the person, such as maintaining an adequate weight, regulating blood pressure and cholesterol, among others.

To combat sedentary lifestyle, it is necessary to modify lifestyle and leisure habits to transform them so that physical activity and sport are increased.

Those adults who have been sedentary for a long time will have to consult a doctor to understand how dangerous it is to their health not to do any exercise and what consequences it would have to suddenly start an exhaustive and uncontrolled exercise .

Several studies have shown that even a small amount of daily activity can make a difference, so walking just 20 minutes a day can be enough to reduce the risk of dying at a young age by 30% .

In the case of children, it is necessary to educate them to have a healthy active life, with moderate exercise and outdoor activities so that they become healthy adults.

In the case of young people , it is recommended that physical activity last more than 60 minutes per day and that sedentary activities occupy only less than two hours a day (excluding work hours and academic activity).

Types of sedentary lifestyle

  • The ancient sedentary lifestyle alludes to the passage of nomadic men to become sedentary thanks to the discovery of agriculture and as a consequence to the development of humanity. Thus having a positive connotation.
  • The current sedentary lifestyle is negative and detrimental to health, it has been taken to the extreme because people perform little physical activity and its consequences are different diseases and early mortality.


The transition from being nomadic to sedentary peoples contributed to the establishment of cities and the carrying out of activities such as agriculture, domestication of animals , development of culture and commerce .


Sedentary people often allege various difficulties when they are instructed to exercise, thus proving that sedentary lifestyle is not only the lack of exercise, but also cognitive aspects are involved; Excuses they may use include: lack of time, interest, skill, energy, information about local resources, and belief in the benefits of exercise.

Related diseases

  • Ischemic heart disease
  • Arterial hypertension (HT).
  • Cerebrovascular diseases.
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus .
  • Obesity .
  • Osteoporosis.
  • Various musculoskeletal problems.
  • Mental or emotional disorders.
  • Malignant neoplasm of the colon.


Promoting knowledge about the negative effects of a sedentary life will make it stop being a public health problem and that people take responsibility for their own health, thus increasing the hours of physical activity and preventing different diseases, in addition to reducing the rate early mortality.

Books on sedentary lifestyle

  • Sedentary lifestyle, health and body image in adolescents.
  • Manual to understand and treat sedentary lifestyle.
  • Exercises to avoid sedentary lifestyle.
  • Physical activity for health and reduction of sedentary lifestyle.
  • Sedentary lifestyle: implications for life.

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