Inactivity- a major health risk

The majority of us know that exercise, or physical activity is important and beneficial for overall health and weight loss. We know we should eat healthy and exercise to benefit our health and happiness.

But did you know how big of a risk physical inactivity is?  It’s detrimental effects are comparable with that of smoking!  1 out of 10 people died world wide, in 2008, from inactivity, similar to that of smoking.  The risk factors of being inactive contribute to severe medical conditions from heart disease to osteoporosis, and other illnesses. In the U.S., the amount of obese people is half that of inactive people. Now please understand that inactivity leads to obesity, but is not obesity. Obesity can contribute to the lack of exercise or activity, but it doesn’t mean someone obese is necessarily inactive.

So what is going on??  If you read my last post, I touched on movement and exercise not being the same.  Many people exercise everyday, but then do not participate in movement or activity the rest of the day. Modern conveniences, 8 hour work shifts behind a desk, an app for everything (soon there will be an app that walks for you), has lead or society into a state of laziness, conscious or unconscious. It’s sad really.  And I hope that those that read this, read more. Whether from this site our searching others statistics elsewhere. Awareness is the first step in the process of change.

I work doing rehabilitation therapy a few days a week in a chiropractic office. I have a story to tell about inactivity.  One of my new patients I just saw, is very overweight. He has a big belly and low back problems.  I was working with him to bring awareness to his core muscles, the muscles that if used correctly help the lower back out quite a bit.  There are many ways to show someone how to activate these muscles.  I decided to show him standing up. All I essentially had him do was create a neutral stance, and activate his belly muscles (the deep ones). I had him balance on one leg with support of a table, and lift the knee of one leg. I focused on him activating his core muscles, rather than his hip flexors, which many people do because of the lack of core strength.  He inhaled, and then on his exhale, activated his abdominals and lifted the one leg. His next inhale brought that leg back down to the floor, and his next exhale lifted the opposite leg. I wanted him to move slow and connect with his breath to become aware of his movement.  We did this a total of 10 times (5 with each leg).  He was out of breath and sweating profusely. He was not used to much movement or activity and the fact that he was overweight made it difficult for him.  I felt frustrated for his health.  And guess what he was going to do….go home a chill in front of the tv (true story).  Why? Don’t people want to feel good? You come in for low back problems, but don’t opt to help yourself? Is it that feeling not good becomes the norm?  And this is just one person, while many people are in this same boat.

Ironically, everything is more convenient, allowing us to do many things in half the time, yet we don’t take extra time for our health or ourselves. We have more doctors and more people sick. We have the internet to learn so many things at our finger tips, yet we choose ignorance in learning what we need to do for oour overall well-being.  Inactivity and poor health effects not only the individual, but the world, the earth, it has a global effect.  When will people start to take more of an interest in their health, their movement, their exercise, or their lack of it?

Well I plan to speak and create awareness. With out getting overwhelmed (like my mini rant above), each time I post I will tackle something new and beneficial as far as movement, exercise, and wellness, as well as the negative effects that may occur from lack of awareness on that particular subject.  Let’s take a stand for our health and the health of others.  It effects us all on some level and there is no better time to start then now!