In my persuasion module I have been asked to focus on a particular health related cause in which I would like to make a change. In my previous blog post, I laid out my reasoning and research behind a campaign that would seek to educate and bring greater awareness of the issue of voluntary euthanasia.
While I feel that this was a worthy and worth while cause to pursue. It may be a very difficult topic as it is a difficult one to broach and a highly contentious issue. Many have an inherent fear of death and thus the topic of intentionally ending one’s life is one that would require a very fine line to be towed in order not to overstep ones role and cause anguish in people.
In my research I have come to be interested in another health related cause which is one with far more universal and relatable consequences. It has been a topic constantly espoused by the media in recent years and appears to be a growing problem. As we as a society grow more prosperous and have more labour saving technologies. Exercise has become more of a novelty and a voluntary pastime. As a country we are becoming more sedentary and this is the cause of numerous major health problems.
Many organisations, both governmental and charity based, share the goal of trying to persuade people to be more physically active. Not only to engage in exercise and sports. But especially to simply remain still and prone less.
According to Change4Life benefits of an active lifestyle include:
- Improved behaviour, self confidence and social skills
- Improved attention levels and performance in learning
- Strength in muscles and bones
- Health and Fitness
- Maintain healthy weight
- Improved sleep
- Improved mood
I personally have a very active lifestyle as I have found it gives me all of these benefits. I absolutely struggle to sleep, gain weight and feel less motivated and positive if i go for any period of time without exercising and I notice this in others. Many people I know live sedentary lifestyles and poor diets and it affects their health and well-being.
I would like to take this research further and hopefully create work aimed at targeting these issues in our society. Poor physical health based entirely on lifestyle cause a great deal of health issues and needlessly put enormous strain on our healthcare system.
According to Health.Gov
Sitting or lying down, (with the exception of sleeping), are what we call ‘sedentary’ behaviours. You can be sedentary at work, at school, at home, when travelling or during leisure time. Sedentary behaviour requires little energy expenditure. Examples of sedentary behaviour include:
- Sitting or lying down while watching television or playing electronic games.
- Sitting while driving a vehicle, or while travelling.
- Sitting or lying down to read, study, write, or work at a desk or computer.
There is a difference between a person who is sedentary and a person who is physically inactive. Being ‘physically inactive’ means not doing enough physical activity. However, being ‘sedentary’ means sitting or lying down for long periods. So, a person can do enough physical activity to meet the guidelines and still be considered sedentary if they spend a large amount of their day sitting or lying down at work, at home, for study, for travel or during their leisure time.
Much of my knowledge comes from TED talks I have listened to in the past. They are a font of information on topics such as physical and mental health.
According to Lifespan Fitness, the website from which I retrieved this video, the possible risks of a sedentary lifestyle are:
- Physical inactivity may increase the risks of certain cancers.
- Physical inactivity may contribute to anxiety and depression.
- Physical inactivity has been shown to be a risk factor for certain cardiovascular diseases.
- People who engage in more physical activity are less likely to develop coronary heart disease.
- People who are more active are less likely to be overweight or obese.
- Sitting too much may cause a decrease in skeletal muscle mass.
- Physical inactivity is linked to high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol levels.