Being a couch potato can be more dangerous than you think.
Though the World Health Organization recommends a minimum of 150 minutes a week engaging in moderate-intensity aerobic exercise to stay healthy, far too many people spend most of their lives in a sitting position, whether at work or at home. Whether we are sitting at home watching television, playing video games, listening to music, working on a computer, or sitting in a car, modern living often means spending most of our days expending as little energy as possible, even when we are working or studying.
The Sedentary Behaviour Research Network (SBRN) defines sedentary behaviour as "any waking activity characterized by an energy expenditure ≤ 1.5 metabolic equivalents and a sitting or reclining posture." In other words, any sitting or reclining activity. Even for people who may think of themselves as physically active and engaging in regular exercise, spending too much time in sedentary behaviour has been linked to a wide range of health problems such as obesity, depression, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and overall mortality.
To read more, check out my new Psychology Today blog post.