Does a Sedentary Lifestyle Cause Sitting Disease?

In today’s time, when we can digitally perform our daily tasks with the help of technology, many of us have forgotten the importance of physical activity.

The researchers estimate that around 60 to 85% of people lead sedentary lifestyles, which is the leading cause of sitting disease among masses.

What does a sedentary lifestyle mean, and how does it lead to sitting disease?

A sedentary lifestyle is one that involves little to no physical activity or exercise throughout the day. 

So how many hours of sitting is considered sedentary? People who work nine to 12 hours daily are at a higher risk of falling into this category. 

What does the term sedentary mean? In the simplest terms, a sedentary job is one that requires physical exertion. 

In addition, daily lifestyle habits like watching television, reading, using a phone/ laptop, and even socializing are sedentary activities and negatively impact our lives. Therefore, leading such a lifestyle increases the risk of developing a sitting disease.

What are the 5 hazards of a sedentary lifestyle?

Living a sedentary lifestyle is a health risk and the leading cause of sitting disease. Due to prolonged inactivity for years, a person’s metabolism remains constant throughout life. 

Sitting disease can lead to plenty of health threats for an individual. However, the 5 most significant hazards of a sedentary lifestyle are- 

  • Obesity
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • High cholesterol
  • Stroke
  • Metabolic diseases

What are the examples of sitting disease?

There are plenty of diseases resulting from hours of sitting and physical inactivity every day. Sometimes the symptoms can be so moderately intense that they can lead to the risk of dying.

According to Mayo Clinic, the most common examples of sitting diseases are obesity, hypertension, diabetes, etc. 

Cardiovascular diseases are another health hazard posed by a sedentary lifestyle. To read more about taking care of your heart health, check out our guide on how to prevent the risk of heart diseases

What are the symptoms of sitting too long or having a sitting disease?

Suppose you sit around for most of the time during the day and maintain no exercise routine. In that case, the chances are that you might be leading a sedentary lifestyle. 

There are specific health problems that can signal or hint at the presence of a sedentary lifestyle. Therefore, one should keep an eye out for the following signs of a sedentary lifestyle so that one brings in the necessary changes to live a healthier life.

  • Feeling more fatigued than usual.
  • Trouble in sleeping
  • Gaining an excessive amount of weight
  • Facing digestive problems
  • Mental health issues like depression
  • Having trouble concentrating
  • Difficulty in remembering things 

Experiencing such symptoms might be a sign of sitting disease. 

One should get a proper medical diagnosis done before life-threatening medical complications occur. However, due to the heavy influence of sedentary activities, many people on the planet live a sedentary lifestyle. 

Therefore, one should choose to take out time to exercise every day. Even the slightest effort like doing aerobic exercises at home can help you get fit. However, to live a healthy life and avoid sedentary lifestyle diseases, one would need to take some steps to improve one’s physical and mental health.

What Factors Leads to a Sedentary Lifestyle?

Do you think that the majority of the people living on the planet choose to live a sedentary lifestyle? Why would someone consciously choose to live an unhealthy life knowing the adverse effects of sitting for long hours? Various risk factors make a person more likely to lead a sedentary lifestyle. Some of the significant adverse impacts of a sedentary lifestyle are as follows.


The type of employment also dramatically affects an individual’s health. Daily wage earners who do hard labour are more likely to remain fit than people working in the corporate sector. 

All the high paying jobs consist of sedentary activities. For example, employees who work in the corporate have to sit for prolonged hours to complete their shifts. 

Though the awareness about being physically fit is increasing, still many people are victims of diseases caused due to prolonged sitting like hypertension and diabetes.  

One should know that when the circumstances are not favourable to our health, it is our responsibility to take the time to remain fit and lead an active lifestyle. 

For example, people whose jobs require them to sit for long hours should take hourly breaks to walk; children should go to parks and reduce their screen time. One has to bring in specific lifestyle changes to avoid this risk of sitting diseases.

Sedentary activities

Living a sedentary lifestyle is a health risk but due to technological advancements, most of us are leading one. Whether we are socializing, watching television, travelling or using our phones, all have become a part of our sedentary behaviour. 

Sitting or lying down for prolonged periods is a direct invitation to sitting disease resulting in metabolic syndrome. Therefore, medical professionals often advise making daily life tasks filled with more physical input so that one remains active throughout the day. 

People should take time out of their daily routine to maintain that physical fitness. One can avert the risk of various sedentary lifestyle diseases by remaining physically active.

Dietary factor

  The type of diet we take dramatically influences our health and lifestyle. If one takes excessive calories and does little to no exercise, one may become obese. Therefore, eating a healthy nutritional diet that fulfils the body’s needs and requirements is essential.

To avoid a sedentary lifestyle, one should take a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and avoid high carbohydrates/ fat diets. Taking a high-calorie diet can make you gain more weight and become obese. 

One should try to lose the extra weight in the body and develop a habit of regularly exercising to live an active lifestyle.

How do you recover from sitting disease?

It is not really challenging to get over sedentary behaviour. All it takes is strong willpower and some lifestyle changes like those mentioned below:- 

  • If you work for long hours, ditch your regular office desk for a standing desk every now and then. 
  • You can take up light workouts like jumping jacks every 2-3 hours if you stay at home. 
  • Stand up and walk every time you talk on call. 
  • Step out of your comfort zone and sit on the floor to watch TV, eat or work.
  • Go out grocery shopping by walking. Don’t use vehicles for short-distance travel. 
  • Every 20 minutes, take a break from prolonged sitting to fetch a glass of water from the kitchen or walk around the office floor. 

Getting over a sedentary lifestyle is not a herculean task. You can also think of your version of remedies to the sitting disease. While sedentary behaviour looks like a normal condition, it can lead to moderately intense consequences for your health. 

What diseases can sitting cause? Can inactivity cause a high heart rate?

Living a sedentary lifestyle is a health risk and can lead to sitting disease. But sitting disease itself is the origin of multiple diseases. Therefore, prolonged sitting hours a day can lead to the risk of health complications, such as cardiovascular diseases, obesity, cancer, and even diabetes. 

However, there are medicines like Trajenta that can help you deal with health complications like diabetes. But make sure you consume the medicine as per the prescribed guidelines.

What happens if you don’t walk for a month?

By not walking for a month or not working out for a month, you train your muscles to fall back and catch the sitting disease. In addition, sedentary behaviour leads to muscles losing their bulk. This includes the muscles necessary for breathing. 

Such a condition can lead to breathlessness and low stamina. Moreover, your mental health will start to decline too. 

What happens when you don’t exercise for a year?

Not working out or exercising for a year can lead to catastrophic consequences for the body. This includes a lot more, including loss of stamina, weakening of muscles and depreciation of mental health. This includes the development of cardiovascular disease, blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and more. 

However, regular physical activity and proper medications like Enapril or Olmigo may help you get rid of some cardiovascular diseases, including blood pressure but only under doctor’s guidelines.

How long does it take for a sedentary person to get in shape?

If you have fallen prey to a sedentary lifestyle and sitting disease for quite some time now, it is never too late to begin again. The change starts the moment you decide to break the pattern of lethargy or inactivity. 

Starting with routine workouts and making lifestyle changes like walking, working and running along with healthy dieting can begin to show results in a month. 


In the times that we live in today, it is not easy to maintain physical fitness but we should always keep in mind that living a sedentary lifestyle is a health risk. Though technology has given greater ease and comfort to humanity, it has also contributed to the occurrence of a sedentary lifestyle in this modern era. 

Nowadays, people are more dependent on technology than ever before. Therefore, maintaining that adequate physical fitness has become challenging. 

Therefore, it is essential to create more awareness about how sedentary lifestyle habits lead to sitting diseases. With certain realization, one can become conscious enough to bring in the necessary lifestyle changes to lead an active lifestyle.

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Janet Fudge

Janet Fudge writes on general health topics for She holds a post-graduate diploma in Public Health with a major in epidemiology. During the outbreak of COVID-19, Janet actively volunteered in vaccination drives throughout the state of Iowa. She lives in Iowa with her husband and two children.