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Exercise Column

Sedentary Death Syndrome (SEDS) is on the rise due to inactivity

Inactivity alone has lead to a collection of problems and conditions, which eventually lead to premature death. Many chronic diseases have increased because of physical inactivity.

The incidence of obesity has doubled in the past 25 years, while type II diabetes has increased 9-fold since 1958. SEDS relates to 23 diseases and conditions including:

Many of the current diseases Americans face are precipitated by the sedentary lifestyles. Get up off your seat and get moving.

Research suggests that SEDS will cause 2.5 million Americans to die prematurely in the next decade, costing $2-$3 trillion in health care costs.

You need to be more active to maintain your health. Increasing your activity to limit, slow down, and reverse degeneration, which leads to SEDS does not mean, “training” to improve your athletic performance. Just start moving and the rest will follow.

Spend time dealing with your deteriorating health. Don’t be preoccupied with disease and frailty, which limits you in later years. Maintaining an active lifestyle will shift your focus to successful aging. You will feel better, and spend less money on medications.

If you have been sedentary for your entire life…there is room for improvement.

Did you know? An active 50-year-old person often maintains the functional level of a 20-year-old, and previously untrained elderly subjects in their 70’s and 80’s have regained the fitness levels of sedentary 50 to 60 year-olds.

Turn off the TV and take a walk, smell the roses…one little step starts the next step. Before you know it you’re addicted to that wonderful healthy feeling movement will bring you. Get moving. I promise you will feel much better, be healthier, and will look better.

Can you find something wrong with that?

The take home message here is to simply increase your level of activity.

For health, this means striving to accumulate 30 minutes of activity daily (from walking, climbing stairs, and carrying groceries). Reduce the time you spend in sedentary activities like watching TV or excessive reading or computer use.

If you are orthopedically limited, increasing your level of activity might initially mean increasing the number of steps you take or the time spent standing unassisted.

The more you use your body the less you will lose it. Come on, grab a friend and have walk to the beat of a lovely conversation. Get inspired.

Written by Dr. Sternlicht for on 8.29.05