Updated: May 31
By Dr. Joyce Fu, DC, HBSc
As many of you noticed, the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted us into a sedentary lifestyle with the increased capacity to work from home. But how does that affect our health?
Let’s take a closer look at how this affects our health long-term.
According to statistics Canada, approximately 4 in 10 Canadians are working from home since March 20201. Contrast that to 2000, when only about 1 in 10 Canadians were working from home2. The long-term effects of this new adaptation of living have led to the creation of a completely new field of study in science called “sedentary physiology”3.
Sedentary physiology encompasses any class of behaviours that require very low energy output (<1.5Mets)3. This includes the usual habits of sitting, watching TV and driving. One “Met” is unique to each person and is based on their basal metabolic rate (the rate at which you burn calories by simply breathing and living).
A study looking at young adults in Hong Kong before and after the COVID-19 pandemic, found that they had lower levels of physical activity, higher amounts of time spent on sedentary behaviours and were sleeping for longer4. Overall, if this lifestyle was sustained for a prolonged period of time, you could get significant changes in the body composition, such as increased body fat, decreased muscle and bone densities. These types of risk factors are associated with a number of chronic lifestyle illnesses such as:
Cardiovascular disease (CVD),
It is especially important to note that in our elderly population, there is an increased acceleration of sarcopenia, also known as muscle deterioration4.
So, what can we do about it?
The best way to reduce sedentary behaviour is to simply increase movement and energy expenditure. The simpler and more achievable the goal, the more likelihood there is to reach that goal!
Here are simple ways you can add more movement to your daily routine:
Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Take a break from the desk every 30-60minutes (stretch and walk around!).
Brush your teeth and practicing squats or pelvic tilts!
Walk your dog around 1 more block.
If you would like to learn how chiropractic can reduce your sedentary lifestyle, book an appointment or complimentary 15-minute meet and greet today at Darou Wellness. Dr. Joyce offers virtual personalized exercise programs and virtual options are available!
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