What does physical inactivity actually do to your body?
Our cultural sedentariness, recently acquired, lies at the base of much human ill-being. Physical inactivity predictably leads to deterioration of many body functions. A number of these effects coexist so frequently in our society that they merit inclusion in a specific syndrome, the disuse syndrome. The identifying characteristics of the syndrome are cardiovascular vulnerability, obesity, musculoskeletal fragility, depression and premature aging.
—Dr. Walter Bortz
And since this way-too-easily reproducible syndrome affects the young as well as the old, we can not blame “normal aging” for the onset of the diseases related to the Disuse Syndrome.
Conditions that are caused or worsened by sedentary lifestyle:
Sedentary living increases these conditions:
Sedentary living increases the progression of these conditions:
But it doesn’t have to be this way:
The NIH reported in 2009 that…
- Exercise improves quality of life
- Quality of life improvements are dose dependent on volume of exercise. Small amount of exercise = small improvement to Q of L. Large amount of exercise = large improvement to Q of L.
- Q of L improvements were independent to weight loss
And if that wasn’t enough proof for you, we can look at another pile of research which shows that while quality of life, physical balance, flexibility, mental health, etc naturally decline over the years, being physically active significantly slows down these “natural” signs of aging.
In fact, it has been shown that seniors can significantly reverse the severity of these conditions after taking up an exercise routine.
Thanks to advances in technology, modern humans no longer have to live the physically punishing lives of our ancestors. This is good – it allows us to develop our minds, live longer, live better, etc.. Unfortunately, it has also made us sick, fat and lazy.