The Sedentary Lifestyle: You’re Likely Living It!
When we hear the word “sedentary”, the first word that pops into people’s mind is likely “lazy.” Perhaps images come to mind of a couch-potato lifestyle. But, most of us are living a sedentary lifestyle and we aren’t lazy! We’ve just succumbed to our modern way of life:
- 80 percent of contemporary jobs are sedentary or involve only light activity. Research translates this to an average decline of 120 to 140 calories a day in physical activity.
- American adults spend over 11 hours per day listening to, watching, reading or generally interacting with media. The Institute for Medicine and Public Health, says it’s likely that we spend 56 hours a week planted like a geranium. This could be staring at our computer screens, working the steering wheel, or collapsed in a heap in front of a screen.
- In 2017, Americans spent about $17 billion on gym memberships. But according to one study, 67 percent of them NEVER went.
- Most American families (63 percent) spend anywhere from $100 to $499 per child each month on youth sports. You know what that means? We are cheering from the sidelines while in our comfy chairs.
Add a disability, injury, or chronic health condition and getting enough exercise can feel downright impossible.
- One in four U.S. adults lives with a disability that impacts major life activities
- 6 in 10 Americans live with at least one chronic disease, like heart disease, cancer, stroke, or diabetes. These and other chronic diseases are the leading causes of death and disability in America
The good news is that it’s not impossible!
The Secret Anti-Sedentary Lifestyle Sauce?
Exercise doesn’t have to be done all at once. It also doesn’t have to feel miserable or painful to have a positive impact.
For decades, we’ve been sold memberships and classes with the idea that we need 45-60 minute workouts or it just wasn’t worth the effort. We’ve also convinced ourselves that a short run or bike ride just wasn’t worth the time. In this “all or nothing” mindset, the choice to exercise can feel hard. This can be especially true if someone is busy or struggles with limited mobility due to an injury, disability, or chronic health condition. The great news is that research shows that peppering mini-workouts can play a significant role in reducing the risk of, or preventing, chronic disease.
For the first time in 10 years, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released new Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. The new guidelines demonstrate that even a brief episode of physical activity counts towards your total volume of physical activity for the day.
The Excy Anti-Sedentary Lifestyle April Challenge
For the month of April, our co-founder and CEO Michele Mehl, will demonstrate mini-workouts over a period of 30 days. She will show multiple Excy positions, including positions those struggling with limited mobility can perform while standing, sitting, or lying down. These will include positions to exercise in bed for those who are bedridden. These positions will focus on using Excy as a recumbent bike, upper body ergometer, desk cycle, step cycle, and overall resistance cross trainer. She will also pepper in other activities like squats, using hand weights, resistance bands, body weight exercises and more.
Michele is a firm believer in approaching exercise as a form of snacking throughout the day. So, she will share her exercise snacks from the moment she wakes up to the moment she goes to sleep. Her goal is to show you that it’s possible to squeeze in 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise. Or if preferred, 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity each week. She will also add in at least two days a week of muscle strengthening exercises. Although, her preferred approach is to double-dip cardio and strength training at the same time by increase resistance, whether pedaling forwards or backwards. Adults with chronic conditions and disabilities, who are able, are encouraged to follow the same guidelines and to avoid inactivity.
The Excy Mobile coaching application and Apple Watch will be used for tracking and motivation.
Just Why is An Anti-Sedentary Lifestyle and Exercise Important
Any extended sitting — such as at a desk, behind a wheel or in front of a screen — can be harmful. An analysis of 13 studies found that those who sat for more than eight hours a day with no physical activity had a risk of dying similar to the risks of dying posed by obesity and smoking.
Sedentary lifestyles carry increased risks for several serious diseases. For example, a new study found that nearly 50,000 people in Britain die each year from diseases related to sitting down too much. A recent study by the University of Sydney estimates that the costs of physical inactivity around the world is $67 billion in healthcare expenditure and lost productivity.
Regular physical activity provides a variety of benefits that help us feel better, sleep better, and perform daily tasks more easily. But, documented health benefits also include reduced risk of excessive weight gain in adults, children, and pregnant women. It also shows improved cognitive function and a reduced risk of dementia. Research also shows that exercise can reduce the risk of cancer of the bladder, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, lung, and stomach. Most of these improvements become even larger with the regular performance of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. For example, research has shown that resistance training and high intensity interval training (HIIT) can have significant positive implications on people’s health regardless of age and in fact, improve age-related decline in muscle.
If you’re ready to spring your health forward and throw up roadblocks to a sedentary lifestyle, tune into our Facebook, YouTube, and Excy Live channels! All workouts will be at spontaneous times and locations.