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7 Signs of Physical Inactivity & Health Risks of an Inactive Lifestyle

An inactive lifestyle often referred to as couch potato, not exercising, and a sedentary lifestyle.

It is a lifestyle with a lot of sitting, no exercising, and lying down all the time.

Being chronically inactive can cause the body to show up some health signs, which might act as an alarm telling it’s time to get up and get going.

7 Signs of Physical Inactivity

Feeling Sluggish All The Time

Do you feel sluggish or lethargic most of the time in the day? Maybe you just feel like sitting all the time. This might weaken your energy further.

Engaging in physical activity can get your heart pumping and give the required energy burst.

Difficulty in Dealing With Stress

If you find yourself constantly being overwhelmed and exhausted, try adding a physical activity routine into the schedule.

Physical activity is known for its stress-busting benefit.(1) Physical activity promotes the release of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine that decrease the level of cortisol in the body.(2)

Difficulty in Sleeping

If you are amongst those, who just toss and turn in bed and not able to sleep at all, physical activity is lacking in your routine.

Try and add any exercise or activity routine to aid sleep. It primes your body and mind for sound sleep.(3)

Physical activity serves as a nonpharmaceutical alternative to improve sleep.

Feel Low Spirited

For those who feel blue, or down, or low-spirited, physical activity can help boost the spirits.

Physical activity improves mood and is beneficial for the entire mental state.(4)

Stiffness of Joint

Soreness in the back and stiffness of the knees are the silent signs that signal that your routine lacks physical activity.

Physical activity helps in improving the strength and stability of muscles, bones, and joints. This helps get rid of the pesky aches and pains.


Constant worry and anxiety can be gotten rid of by physical activity. It helps get rid of anxious feelings.

Exercise gets the heart pumping and causes the release of good hormones in the brain that reduces the immune response of the body to stress and eases anxiety.(5)

Additionally, the increase in body temperature that accompanies vigorous activity has a calming effect.

Difficulty in Concentrating

Brain fog can be cleared by exercising regularly.

According to the Harvard Medical School’s Men’s Health Watch, when a person moves more, the brain releases brain-derived neurotrophic factors that may boost mental sharpness, memory, and concentration.(6)

Health Risks of an Inactive Lifestyle

An inactive lifestyle can be a cause of many chronic diseases. Not exercising regularly can lead to an increase in the risk of the following health problems:

How to Get Started with Exercise?

For those who have been inactive should start exercise slowly. Do not rush with it as you may end up feeling sore and injured.

Gradually add more exercise and level up the previous ones. The more you do the better it is for you.

Do not feel overwhelmed if you are not able to meet your expectations. Doing some exercise is better than doing nothing at all.

How To Be Active When At Work?

Most of the jobs require long sitting hours in front of the computer. Also, physical activity in the busy schedule becomes challenging. There are a few tips that can help you get moving:

  1. At least once in an hour get up from your seat and move around
  2. When talking on the phone stand up from your seat
  3. Use the company gym if provided
  4. Use stairs while going up and down instead of the elevator
  5. Walk around the office building during lunch break
  6. If possible have standing or walking meeting with the co-workers.
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:October 10, 2020

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