Obesity and sedentary lifestyle

Obesity and sedentary lifestyle

Obesity is currently one of the most recurring medical issues that we face today. A large percentage of Indian adults and children living in urban areas placed in the overweight or obese classification. Studies show that obesity and sedentary lifestyle are inter-linked.

What is causing higher obesity rates?

Perhaps the 2 most obvious factors that are increasing the risk of overweight and obesity are high duration of sedentary activity and high intake of unhealthy foods. Other causes of overweight and obesity could be environmental factors, genetics, and stress.

Dietary Behaviour

Studies show that average diet have become higher in calories, salt, sugar, and fat especially among school children and young adults. With globalisation, the dietary choices in India have become more diverse compared to dietary choices a few decades back. Frequent consumption of carbonated drinks coupled with the fact that most young adults in urban areas prefer to eat out or order food from outside.

Sedentary Lifestyle

There is correlation between obesity and sedentary lifestyle. Nowadays, we are hugely empowered by technology which has in turn reduced our physical activity. We can shop, order food, attend classes and in some cases, even work from the comfort of our home. The opportunity of leading a sedentary lifestyle is much higher than ever due to technology.

What is a sedentary lifestyle?

A sedentary lifestyle is a type of lifestyle that involves little or no physical activity. You can be sedentary at home, at school, at work or during leisure time. Sedentary behaviour requires little energy expenditure and examples include:

  • Sitting or lying down for no reason
  • Lying down while watching television
  • Playing electronic games for long period of time
  • Sitting while driving a vehicle
  • Lying down or sitting to read, study or write
  • Working at a desk or computer for long periods

Is there a difference between being sedentary and being physically inactive?

Yes, there is a difference between the two. Being ‘physically inactive’ means not doing enough physical work. On contrary, being ‘sedentary’ means sitting or lying down for long periods. In other words, a person can do enough physical activity on a daily basis and still be ‘sedentary’ if they spend a large amount of their day sitting or lying down.

Health implications of being overweight

Being overweight is more than carrying extra fatty deposits around the body, but has health implications for the individual. Besides, studies have shown that correlation between obesity and diseases like coronary heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, gallstones, gout and arthritis.

Apart from that, carrying excess weight across the body can lead to deterioration and wear of ankle, knee and hip joints. This often results in chronic pain and reduced mobility. Due to the nature of carrying excess weight across the body, the ankle, knee, and hip joints can experience accelerated deterioration and wear resulting in chronic pain and reduced mobility. There are also a number of products that can be used to assist with weight bearing and ensure that the individual can undertake everyday tasks in the most practical way ensuring quality of life.

Managing obesity

There are a number of ways that we can manage weight, this usually involves diet planning and physical exercise, and sometimes include more invasive procedures involving gastric surgery.