5-minute stroll every half-hour can off-set sedentary lifestyle complications

‘Continuous sitting for long hours leads to heart diseases, diabetes, cancer’
5-minute stroll every half-hour can off-set sedentary lifestyle complications
File/ GK

Srinagar, Jan 22: The youngsters and employees working on electronic gadgets all day has become a common spectacle since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some employees even work till midnight. But sitting all day, lack of sleep, sedentary lifestyle can develop health complications among people, warn health experts.

Valley based doctors, speaking to Greater Kashmir opine that a five-minute walk every hour relaxes the muscles, brain and the body of an individual.

Dr Saleem Khan, HoD, Community Medicine at Government Medical College (GMC) told Greater Kashmir, “Sitting for long hours disrupts the functioning of the body.”

“It does not only affect the brain but also affects cardiovascular health, muscles. It causes joint problems, cervical, neck problems and also leads to thickening of the blood. So, these things will aggravate other issues like Blood Pressure. People sitting for long hours at work can develop other complications like varicose veins disease in lower limbs,” he said.

He said that people should take a five-minute walk every hour. “They should move out if they cannot go out then they should walk inside the room,” he said. Doctors said that there was no alternative for physical exercise, especially walking.

“Our youngsters mostly have fatty liver problems besides other health complications. These are all lifestyle diseases. So, changing lifestyle to prevent health complications is the need of the hour,” he said.

Dr Hamed Bashir, a Cardiologist told Greater Kashmir that sedentary behaviour was highly prevalent despite growing evidence of adverse effects on the cardiovascular and metabolic system. He said, “Even if people are doing physical activity at least 30 minutes per day, it matters what they do the other 23 hours of the day.” “Sedentary activities which include sitting for long hours, even watching TV, listening to music, reading and writing, knitting and sewing, playing video or computer games, and riding in a car for long hours were not good for health,” he said.

Dr Hamed said that a review of studies, which were published earlier, found that even after physical activity, sitting for long periods was associated with worse health outcomes, including heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and cancer.

“Sedentary behaviour can also increase your risk of dying, either from heart disease or other medical problems,” he said.

A new study from Columbia University in New York has claimed that just 5-minute of walking every half-hour can offset some of the most harmful effects of sitting for long periods.

According to the study, volunteers who got up and walked for five minutes every half hour had lower blood sugar and blood pressure than those who sat continuously. The researchers also found that walking for one minute every hour helped with blood pressure, but not blood sugar.

Dr Yasir Hassan Rather, Professor at IMHANS told Greater Kashmir that sitting for a long time on different virtual mediums could take a toll on people's mental health and the overall body. “Lack of physical exercise, social interaction, relaxation exercise; no breaks, sleep disruption and no quality time with the family have taken a toll on the mental health of the people especially youngsters. Social interaction also plays a very important role for mental health and it has been found that socially interactive people have more longevity," he said.

Dr Yasir said that depression and anxiety were commonly found among youngsters who were not socially interactive and physically active.

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