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How Does Sedentary Life Affect Our Mental Health?

Here we cover some common ways in which a sedentary lifestyle can affect your mental health.

How Does Sedentary Life Affect Our Mental Health?

Sedentary lifestyles are associated with higher rates of depression

Living a sedentary lifestyle, characterised by prolonged periods of physical inactivity, can have significant impacts on mental health. Keep reading as we cover some common ways in which a sedentary lifestyle can affect your mental health.

Here are 10 ways a sedentary lifestyle can affect your mental health:

1. Increased stress and anxiety

Sedentary behaviour can lead to increased levels of stress and anxiety due to the lack of physical activity, which reduces the release of endorphins and other chemicals that help regulate mood. Engage in regular exercise, such as walking, jogging, or yoga, to reduce stress and anxiety levels.

2. Depression

Sedentary lifestyles are associated with higher rates of depression. Lack of physical activity can disrupt neurotransmitter levels and contribute to feelings of sadness and hopelessness. Incorporate regular physical activity into your routine to help alleviate symptoms of depression.

3. Poor sleep quality

Sedentary behaviour can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to insomnia or poor-quality sleep, which can exacerbate mental health issues. Establish a consistent sleep schedule and avoid sedentary activities close to bedtime. Engage in relaxation techniques before sleep, such as meditation or deep breathing exercises.

4. Decreased self-esteem

Sedentary individuals may experience lower self-esteem and confidence due to physical inactivity and negative body image perceptions. Focus on activities that promote self-care and self-acceptance, such as mindfulness practices and engaging in hobbies that bring joy.

5. Impaired cognitive function

Prolonged sitting can impair cognitive function, including memory, attention, and decision-making skills, leading to cognitive decline over time. Take regular breaks from sitting, engage in mentally stimulating activities, and incorporate physical exercise to support brain health.

6. Increased risk of addiction

Sedentary behaviour may increase the risk of addictive behaviours, such as substance abuse or compulsive use of technology, as individuals seek alternative ways to cope with negative emotions. Develop healthy coping mechanisms, seek social support, and limit screen time to prevent addiction.

7. Social isolation

Sedentary lifestyles often lead to social isolation and loneliness, which can negatively impact mental health and well-being. Prioritise social connections by participating in group activities, volunteering, or joining clubs or organisations with shared interests.

8. Reduced productivity

Sedentary behaviour can reduce productivity and motivation, making it difficult to accomplish tasks and achieve goals. Incorporate physical activity breaks throughout the day to boost energy levels and improve focus.

9. Increased risk of mental health disorders

Sedentary lifestyles are associated with an increased risk of developing various mental health disorders, including anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Adopt a balanced lifestyle that includes regular exercise, healthy eating habits, and stress management techniques to reduce the risk of mental health disorders.

10. Poor emotional regulation

Sedentary individuals may have difficulty regulating emotions, leading to mood swings, irritability, and impulsivity. Practice mindfulness and emotional regulation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises and journaling, to manage emotions effectively.

In summary, adopting a more active lifestyle can help prevent the negative effects of sedentary behaviour on mental health. Incorporating regular physical activity, maintaining social connections, practicing self-care, and seeking professional help when needed are essential strategies for promoting mental well-being.

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Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.


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