A sedentary lifestyle is really not optimal for your health. Not only because it does not allow you to enjoy the benefits of physical activity, but also because it can lead to health problems and reduce life expectancy.
A sedentary lifestyle is abnormal and increases the risk by 27% of premature death
Not moving is a physiologically abnormal state and sedentary people have significant metabolic disturbances. Particularly in terms of fat and blood sugar absorption, and have a higher risk of suffering from obesity and various chronic diseases.
These dangers of a sedentary lifestyle are well illustrated by many studies showing that lack of physical activity increases the risk of of premature mortality. It is directly responsible for more than five million deaths worldwide each year, almost as many as smoking.
Screen time: the death trap of our time
You have to be aware of the pitfalls of a sedentary lifestyle. Opportunities to do nothing physically are ubiquitous in our time, especially when it comes to leisure. In addition to television, where you can now binge watch several series, films or shows, it is also possible to spend many hours on the computer, tablet, telephone or even video game consoles.
According to a recent study, one of the main consequences of this sedentary lifestyle associated with this “screen time” is to accelerate the appearance of cardiovascular diseases and consequently to reduce life expectancy in good health. health.
Less screen time more years of life
By analyzing the television viewing and physical activity habits of 13 534 middle-aged people (27-90 years) for a period of 27 years, the researchers observed that those who were physically active and rarely watched television lived an average of two and a half years of e more without being affected by cardiovascular disease, whether coronary heart disease, stroke or heart failure.
It is very likely that these positive effects are underestimated compared to the current situation. Given that the time spent in front of the latest electronic gadgets (telephone, tablet, streaming), which greatly contribute to current screen time, was not measured in this study. These observations are interesting, because the prevention of chronic diseases does not only mean increasing life expectancy: it is also (and perhaps above all) a question of increasing the number of years of life in good health, free from diseases that reduce the quality of life.
Increase healthy life expectancy by 3 years
It is now established beyond doubt that regular physical activity is associated with a marked reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease and premature mortality.
150 min of physical activity per week are recommended by the WHO to maintain or regain good health. Moreover, increasing one’s life expectancy in good health by almost 3 years simply by watching television less often is a very achievable goal within everyone’s reach.
- Cuthbertson CC et al. Associations of leisure-time physical activity and television viewing with life expectancy free of nonfatal cardiovascular disease: the ARIC study. J. Am. Heart Assoc. 2019; 8: e012657.
Lee IM et al. Effect of physical inactivity on major non-communicable diseases worldwide: an analysis of burden of disease and life expectancy. Lancet 380: 219-29. 2
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