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What is a sedentary lifestyle?

Supplier: Ergomotion
23 July, 2015

Doctors and other medical professionals often use the term 'sedentary lifestyle' to describe someone who engages in no or little regular physical activity or movement.

It describes a person – regardless of whether they are a child or an adult – who does not do sufficient physical exercise (or even enough day-to-day movement) to be healthy and fit.

A colloquial term for those who are spending their days sedentary is a 'couch potato!'

What's contributing to our sedentary lifestyle?

A sedentary lifestyle has (unfortunately) become more apparent in many Australians, and there are a few reasons why.

Technology is the big caveat here. Don't get us wrong: technology is amazing and we love it! But the ease at which we can access information, watch movies, play games, and talk to our friends has resulted in a lifestyle where we simply don't move as often.

Back in the day, to create entertainment, we'd play board games, or ride our bikes around the street. We didn't have tablets to play Candy Crush – instead we walked to the shops and bought ourselves candy treats.

We've become accustomed to this sort of behaviour, and for those Gen Y-ers who have grown up using an iPad and can navigate their way around an iPhone better than Baby Boomers, they're getting used to a dangerous practice that can have adverse health effects in the future.

Manual labour has also found itself competing with machines and computers. Many physically based jobs have, over the past several decades – as technology improved – been replaced with automatic machinery. This shift from physical labour to office jobs is a key contributor.

Physical activity versus. exercise

These are two terms that are often interchanged, but they're not entirely the same.

You see, all exercise is physical activity, but not all physical activity is exercise.

Physical activating refers to any body movement, for any purpose, such as:

  • Standing on the train
  • Climbing up and down stairs
  • Carrying in the supermarket bags from the car
  • Vacuuming the house
  • Playing with children
  • Washing a car

Basically, it is any bodily movement that requires energy.

Exercise is a sublet of physical activity, and is defined as movement that is 'planned, structured, and repetitive,' with the aim of improving and maintaining overall physical fitness and wellness.

Both physical activity and exercise are beneficial to your health, and can improve your heart health.

What can you do to combat a sedentary lifestyle (outside of the office)?

In the office, we, of course, recommend height adjustable desks. You can switch between sitting and standing with one of our electric desks as often as needed, throughout your entire workday. Memory settings remember your favourite positions, so you can enjoy precise and appropriate height settings when you're sitting and standing.