Many times, golden-agers end up leading a very inactive lifestyle that’s highly detrimental to their overall wellbeing. If your elderly loved one is experiencing discomfort or pain from their medical conditions or has simply lost the motivation to stand up and exercise, they might begin to sit down far too much in their day. It’s important to examine why your loved one is seated so much and start addressing the problem, as a sedentary lifestyle can pose serious health risks. Here are the five devastating health implications of sitting too much, and hopefully learning about these detrimental effects will encourage you or your loved one to get moving!
Decreased Mobility, Stiffer Joints, and More Pain
Sports professionals do warm-up exercises to loosen up their muscles before engaging in physically demanding activities. This is because if they aren’t utilized regularly, the joints, tendons, and muscles that facilitate movement have a propensity to become stiff; which explains why older adults with osteoarthritis typically experience more pain as they wake up every morning. Your joints remain flexible when you stay active, so an elderly individual who has limber muscles and joints will have less pain and a reduced risk of injury from accidents.
Leads to Unhealthy Snacking and Weight Gain
Older adults who spend their days sitting down don’t move around enough to burn off the calories they consume. Someone who spends a lot of time sitting down is also more likely to consume unhealthy meals that are easier to prepare. The culmination of these unhealthy behaviors can result in weight gains. Becoming overweight makes other health issues worse and keeps elderly folks from exercising more.
Greater Risk of Developing Medical Conditions Caused by Inactivity
Older adults who sit for prolonged periods are more prone to develop belly fat. It’s well known that belly fat raises an individual’s susceptibility to diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Elderly individuals may find it more challenging to lose weight, but consistent exercise can help with belly fat reductions. The risk of such illnesses linked to prolonged sitting can be significantly decreased by light exercises like brisk walking.
Problems with Brain Health and Cognitive Abilities
Besides the harmful consequences that sitting too much has on one’s physical health, being inactive also has a significant detrimental eﬀect on brain health. Blood circulation in the body starts to slow down when there is no movement. As a result, less oxygen-carrying blood reaches the brain. You can imagine how this would affect an older adult’s cognitive abilities if you’ve ever observed that you focus better after standing up and walking about. Elderly folks don’t need vigorous workouts; even a simple errand running around the home can improve blood and oxygen supply to their brain.
Higher Risk of Depression and Other Mental Health Conditions
Sometimes having a relaxing movie night at home is great, but staring at the TV on the sofa every single day can become extremely depressing without them even realizing it. Older adults who spend the majority of their day seated in front of the TV are also more prone to watch distressing stories on the news. Encouraging your elderly loved ones to participate in social activities like dancing or hiking with peers can boost their spirits and stave off common mental health afflictions.