Recently, studies have been conducted regarding the sedentary lifestyle many Americans live today and the impact it can have on our health. As it turns out, it’s more important than we even previously may have thought to stay active or add physical activity into our daily routines.
A study done by the Mayo Clinic revealed that 50 to 70 percent of people spend six or more hours sitting every day. Plus, 20 to 35 percent of people spend 4 hours or more watching TV each day. All this non-movement for hours at a time has been linked to health issues like diabetes, cognitive decline, physical disabilities, certain cancers, and even a shorter life expectancy!
What is Sitting Disease?
Sitting disease is the term used to link the 34 chronic conditions that are commonly associated with lack of activity or excess sitting. For seniors in particular, sitting disease can be an issue due to some of the physical effects of aging which can make it more difficult to stay active. In fact, research shows that just one out of four adults age 65 to 74 years old participates in regular exercise. If we were to reduce our sitting to less than three hours a day, it’s said that we can increase our life expectancy by up to two years. Likewise, if we reduce the amount of time we spend watching TV to less than two hours each day, we’d gain back an additional 1.4 years.
Sitting Disease Symptoms and Prevention Tips
Luckily, today’s assisted living communities recognize the importance of staying physically active throughout our senior years. These communities offer a wide variety of events and activities to keep seniors from sitting in one spot for too long! Many seniors report that their overall health had improved after moving into a senior living community.
To alleviate the chronic conditions and sitting disease symptoms, it’s important to start moving again. It’s never too late to change your ways! Exercising as a senior might not only prevent sitting disease, but it can also reduce your risk of a debilitating fall, help you regain your strength and even improve your mood.
However, adding movement into your daily routine doesn’t necessarily have to mean starting a rigorous workout program. In general, it’s important to just get up from your chair or couch at several points throughout the day. If you’re sitting and watching television, get up and walk around for at least five minutes every time a program ends. Or, walk on a treadmill while you’re watching the nightly news. You can also take a quick walk around the block in the morning or march in place while you’re doing the dishes; basically, anything that keeps you moving. Get friends and loved ones involved, too! Everyone can benefit by being more active, no matter their age.
Or, lower your risk of a sedentary lifestyle by joining a senior fitness program, like American Senior Communities’ New Energy Wellness. These types of programs not only promote active senior living and physical well-being, but also offer a chance for seniors to interact with others and avoid social isolation.
For more information about American Senior Communities, please visit www.ASCSeniorCare.com.