by Marshaneil Soumi D' Rozario | 10 FEB 2018
The term ‘inactivity’ has crept in our banal life like a disease. Inactivity can be defined as immobility or lack of disposition of body from one place to another. How many of us spend most of the day either sitting or lying? The answer may be overwhelming. Indian Council of Medical Research in their India Diabetes study has found that 54.4 per cent of the people are inactive where they are into sitting for more than 11 hours. The study covered more than 2,500 people across all sectors. The worst kind of inactivity is considered to be sitting and watching television compared to a sedentary lifestyle of working on computer. Study shows lethargy or dormancy mostly entails involvement of only hand and not any body parts or muscles.
The nature of work where a person spends eight to ten hours on desktop can be considered as a main reason for inactivity. Professionals who have inadequate physical activity are shopkeepers, accountants, software developers, bus and train drivers, pilots, individuals suffering from psychiatric illness and early retired people. With evolution of technology physical inactivity has seen a major rise across all sections of the society making them vulnerable to cardiovascular diseases.
Dr Altaf Patel, director of medicine explained, “Inactivity is something where there is no daily movement of the body to its required level. Mild movement or mild exercise is also counted as inactivity as the recommended requirement is not met with. Hence if there is a movement but it is not to the required level it goes into the category of inactivity. This is because there is no visible benefit to the body by doing that activity and hence it takes a negative meaning rather than a positive form for the body.”
Less or no physical activity due to people sitting for 11hours can directly culminate into impairment of blood flow, increasing the cholesterol levels and also pushing the body towards obesity. The leading cause of increasing obesity, diabetes, hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases is due to prolonged hours of sitting without taking a break. This is because of the work culture and not by choice.
Dr B G K Sudhakar, consultant cardiologist explained, “People sitting for four hours at a stretch without getting up is dangerous. It becomes an inactivity where the person has to work doubly hard to activate all the muscles and organs again. Hence taking a break at every one hour is strongly recommended.”
Dr Sunil Kapoor, cardiologist explained, “There are simple steps which must be followed like walk around your office or in the corridors for one minute every one hour. Even while sitting do leg exercises and practice deep breathing for one minute every one hour. It is found to ease the pressure on the blood and allows it to flow to all the parts of the body which is required.”
Easy steps to reduce inactivity :
For office goers it is important that they take stairs instead of elevators. With hectic work schedules many of them are not able to carry out regular exercises but going to the gym for 150 minutes of aerobic exercise a week can help
Women who are at home are more at risk as they are always sitting and not moving around much hence it is important for them to ensure that their movement within home is maximum.
With a lot of people trapped in homes because of the emerging social media culture, developing interest in outdoor games like cycling, badminton and other easy sports is can really help in defeating inactivity .
Dr B G Sudhakar, consultant cardiologist explained, “Cardiovascular diseases are directly linked to lack of recommended physical activity. People must be made aware of what is a recommended activity and according to that plan their schedules. There are various fitness apps available which have helped a lot of people. They remind of their prolonged sitting status, necessity to walk and also calculate how many steps they have taken during the day which gives an approximate idea of their physical activity for the day.”
According to Dr P L N Kapardhi, senior interventional cardiologist at Apollo Hospitals ,Measurement of physical activity can be done by pedometer where intensity of exercise is easily determined.
The categories are:
Less than 5000 steps per week is termed as sedentary
An approximate of 5000 to 7499 steps per week is termed as low active.
A count of 7500 to 9999 steps per week is termed as somewhat active.
A count of 10,000 steps per week is termed as active
A count of 12,500 steps per week is termed as highly active.
World Health Organization recommends 3000 steps per day for five days a week.
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