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The Relationship Between Sedentary Lifestyle and Obesity

19 December 2022

In today’s world, due to the acceleration of technological developments, the abundance of food, and better transport links in big cities, modern people experience a more sedentary lifestyle compared to our ancestors in the past.

On top of that, long working hours at your office desk and developing poor eating habits can increase your risk of obesity or various cardiovascular diseases.

Under-activity (the result of the human body consuming more than it needs in relation to the amount of energy it burns) often leads to obesity. Also, many developed countries are seeing high rates of malnutrition in overweight people due to high-fat convenience foods that have very little nutritional merit.

This has never been seen before in human history and medical institutions are buckling under the pressure to treat and prevent an obesity epidemic.

What is obesity?

Obesity is an increase in the body's fat mass compared to lean mass. If left untreated, the body becomes unable to fulfill its basic functions. Sometimes weight gain occurs slowly over time, in other cases, it can come on rapidly. The condition varies from person to person and is often linked to psychological dysfunctions such as anxiety, depression, or addiction. But not in all cases.

The risks

Obesity is one of the biggest health problems faced by the modern world. Not only do serious conditions develop due to obesity, but can it also result in death in extreme cases.

As we all know, nutrition and physical movement are the basic requirements of human development and survival, starting in the womb and until the last phases of life. However, overexposure to convenience foods and sedentary lifestyles as made it very difficult to keep this ratio in balance.

People who eat more and move less are prone to obesity. Even those who appear to not gain any weight from the outside may still be putting their major organs at risk as fat accumulates on the inside.

If the calories eaten are not used, your body stores them as fat which accumulates over time, and as well as gaining weight can also put you at risk of other illnesses such as:

● High blood pressure

● Gallbladder disease

● Cancer

● High LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, or high levels of triglycerides

● Type 2 diabetes

● Coronary heart disease

● Clinical depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders

● Bodily aches and pains

● Difficulty with physical functioning

● Osteoarthritis (a breakdown of the joints)

● Sleep apnea and breathing problems

● Stroke and heart attacks

● Low quality of life and overall mood

Do Long Shifts Cause Obesity?

Being inactive all the time can cause excess weight gain, especially for people who work long hours at an office desk, and if this is not prevented, it can lead to obesity.

Companies may sometimes ask their employees to work overtime, which is normal in some cases. However, for someone who works at a desk for more than 8 hours regularly, overtime can be negative in terms of both physical health and mental performance.

In cases where working overtime is essential, you may want to consider investing in a standing desk. Standing desks promote movement and burn more calories than sitting. This will help you to achieve a healthier working environment, and its height-adjustable features will help to correct and straighten your posture.

Standing desks and adjustable desks deliver other benefits such as increased blood circulation and you may also notice a concentration and creativity boost.

Being sedentary for a long time can cause physical discomfort as well as loss of performance. Here at Flexispot, we have a range of high-quality standing desks that are designed to support a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

Surprising effects of sedentary lifestyles

Those who move less tend to experience a slower pace of life than active people. Sedentary people often prefer the indoors, which can affect their psychology if taken to the extreme.

There are also those who cannot be physically active for long periods or at all due to an illness, injury, or physical disability. People in this category need to take extra care about the amount and type of calories they consume, visit their doctor regularly for check-ups, and find ways to stay active as best they can.

Physical exhaustion

Believe it or not, the more inactive you are, the quicker you will become fatigued. The human body will react to whatever you ask it to do - or not do. If it gets used to spending very little energy, it will complain louder than others even when a small amount of movement is required.

This is why many people give up on a new exercise regime too early because in the beginning is it very taxing on the body. Especially if you already carrying a lot of weight. If you give it time and exercise at a manageable pace, your body will adjust, and exercise will become easier, so long as you remain consistent.

Body Dysmorphia

Obesity can also give rise to problems with confidence and body image. While people come in all shapes and sizes, and all body types should be embraced, those who are very overweight often report that they are less motivated and lacking in self-love which is critical for overall well-being.

It can also lead to an obsession with body image and put people at risk of crash dieting which is physically and mentally stressful. Crash dieting almost never works in the long term, and can leave a sense of hopelessness.

People who are not at peace with themselves cannot be expected to be at peace with other people and to establish social communication properly. This can have knock-on effects in other areas of life.

Does a Sedentary Lifestyle Cause Obesity?

A sedentary lifestyle can cause obesity, but not everyone who is sedentary will become obese.

Although obesity is frequently seen in people who have adopted a sedentary lifestyle, it is necessary to know that there are some genetic factors that can cause obesity. A sedentary life may make matters worse, but not be the underlying cause.

Other culprits may include irregular eating habits, sleep abnormalities, carbohydrate-based diets, and high sugar consumption.

If a sedentary lifestyle is combined with these basic elements, then the chances of becoming obese are extremely high.

However many people who are sedentary manage to prevent obesity by taking in healthy and nutrient-rich foods and adjusting their environments to support an active lifestyle, such as using a standing desk.


Sedentary lifestyles are often a side effect of office life. While it is mostly considered the norm to sit for 8 hours a day, this can have a negative impact on health and increase your risk of obesity.

Ensuring you develop healthy and balanced eating habits and combine this with activities, such as a standing desk or adjustable desk, will significantly lower your chances of developing obesity in the future.