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Dangers of the sedentary lifestyle

Posted on: September 21st, 2015 in Behavioral Health, Mental Health No Comments


Kicking back to watch some television sounds like a great way to relax after work. While watching a favorite show or sports team with friends and family is practically an American tradition, too much of this sedentary lifestyle can turn culture into a mental and physical detriment. Australian researchers at Deakin University’s Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research published a study in June of 2015 that found sitting too much every day negatively affects mental health.

In particular, these scientists wanted to find a connection between anxiety and lack of movement. The studiers looked at nine separate pieces of research focused on anxiety versus total sitting time. Most studies were focused on adults but a few included teenagers and children.

In five of the nine surveys, sedentary lifestyles and feelings of anxiety were correlated. That said, every study was based on interviews and not performed in controlled environments. Researchers believe it’s important to perform follow-up studies to prove causation.

“It is important that we understand the behavioral factors that may be linked to anxiety in order to be able to develop evidence-based strategies in preventing and managing this illness,” lead researcher Megan Teychenne, a lecturer at the Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research.

In contrast to sedentary lifestyle problems, moving seems to help the mind. Another study, this one from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, looked at about 3,000 women aged 42 through 52 to analyze fitness levels and depressive symptoms. Subjects meeting the standard public health recommendations for physical activity displayed fewer symptoms of depression compared to their inactive counterparts. There was also a correlation between escalating physical activity and decreasing depression symptoms.

Findings for the physical degradation of inactivity are older and more researched. John Hopkins University lists the physical problems that can result from inactivity:

  • High blood pressure
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Certain cancers
  • Obesity
  • Increased chance of gallstone formation
  • Adult onset diabetes

Indeed, physical inactivity hosts many negative consequences for physical and mental wellness. As such, pursuits to alleviate depression, anxiety and certain other mental illnesses should include regular exercise as a self-care routine.

Sovereign Health Group recognizes the importance of physical movement as a vital part of recovery. That’s why we provide opportunities for recreational therapies, such as yoga or gym time with the approval of our medical professionals. This is in addition to our usual counseling options benefiting our patients. Start The Sovereign Way today by calling us at any time.

Written by Nicholas Ruiz, Sovereign Health Group writer

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