We’ve all read about the health problems that can arise with being inactive. But how does that translate into our day-to-day lives?
As an active person I find a huge difference if I take a couple of weeks ‘off’. It affects me in more ways than I would have thought and, because of this, it’s easy to see how these problems can affect both my work and personal life.
So what does inactivity cause? What difference does it really make?
Pretty much everyone will know that not being physically active (and eating incorrectly) can lead to obesity, but did you know it has direct links with hypertension (high blood pressure), stroke, heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis?
But it’s not just the physical repercussions you need to think about.
When you exercise your mood improves as the levels of endorphin serotonin in your body increase. Those who don’t exercise may be more prone to problems with moods, even leading to depression, insomnia and social anxiety disorder.
We all know how difficult it is to be productive if you’re tired or in an unsavoury mood, and not having an active lifestyle has direct links to this.
So if you’re feeling a little ‘down’, or are having a bad day, a short walk at lunch or a jog first thing in the morning may help raise your endorphins, improving your mood and resulting in increased productivity.
It’s true. Being inactive has been proven to speed the aging process in some people. Back to those endorphins I just mentioned, oxidative stress can be decreased with physical activity. This stress triggers cell damage from oxygen exposure, leading to the potential of faster aging.
Think about it, if physical activity improves your health so dramatically, inactivity has the opposite effect. And if you’re unhealthy this often leads to illness, which leads to absence from work – sometimes long term. This, combined with the lack of productivity linked to the problem, can result in extended absences, leading to loss of pay, reduced benefits and dissatisfaction from employers.
But it’s not all doom and gloom
The plus side of physical inactivity is that it can be reversed. Unlike a lot of other risk factors for diseases, such as gender and age, you can change how active you are. Even small changes such as taking the stairs or going for a short lunchtime walk can make a difference.
And it’s never too late. Studies have shown that, over time, any negative effects brought on as a result of inactivity can be decreased and in some cases even reversed.
Our Resilience Programme has a big focus on the effects of physical resilience, which includes the importance of being active. For more information on how to improve your personal resilience, click here.
Contact us today to discuss how we can help your people improve their resilience.
Rachel Matthews, Social Media and Marketing Manager
In my blogs I will look at industry constraints and issues and problems that employees face in their day-to-day work lives.
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