Scientists link a sedentary lifestyle, to an increased risk of anxiety
on 30 December 2019
A sedentary lifestyle can lead to anxiety

While fear is a primordial survival mechanism, in modern life, it has been surpassed by anxiety; but aren't they the same thing? No . . . but they involve the same defensive system, just for slightly different reasons. So, how can we tell the difference . . .

Being lazy may cost you more than you could ever imagine!

Fear, if only for the purpose of this blog, is a word we use to describe the presence of the fight or flight response, aka the stress response. The same system is involved when we are anxious but the difference is best described by its intention. Fear is when we are essentially facing danger or the threat of it, this invokes the body's defensive mechanisms and prepares us for battle. Anxiety is a consequence of nonconscious processing, usually based on the sensory activation of certain memories or memory traces, when in or facing similar circumstances. Under normal situations, this works quite well for us. However, anxiety can raise to the level of disorder and then, left to its own devices, begins to lead us towards avoidance and this can spiral out of control, leading to life becoming a very scary experience!

 So it is interesting to see that scientists have discovered a link between a seemingly increasing progression towards sedentary lifestyles and an exponential increase in the cases of anxiety. This should be a major concern to parents because we are mostly, by example, the ones teaching our children this type of lifestyle! It would seem our desire to make life both easier and better, is actually having an opposite effect? Perhaps it is the loss of manufacturing in western economies, coupled with the rise of services as the primary base of commerce that has led to more of us sitting for longer and more often than ever before? The post-war consumer boom has also led to many labour saving devices too and as obvious as it may appear to be, there are seemingly no parallels between our awareness of how bad a sedentary lifestyle is and the obvious need to increase physical activity and exercise! So, if we could learn but one thing from this piece of research, it should be this: So, if the way you currently live your life is causing or promoting, an increase in your ambient levels of anxiety; you need to change the way you live! 

Hypnotherapy stands out as one of the most effective strategic life management methods there is. Especially because of its ability to align both sides of the dilemma of life, logical and illogical and because it promotes clear thinking and good states of mental wellness. The behaviours that make life challenging are often a result of too much stress, too little sleep and too little by way of clarity! So, to get or take back control of your mind and your life, it makes perfect sense to use a methodology, hypnosis, that addresses the subconscious's role in perpetuating negative, vague and ambiguous states of mind. Hypnosis helps us to create calm relaxing states that make life work better!

If you would like to address any concerns you have in this direction, or, if you just want to make your life feel better, then why not make an appointment for a Free Consultation? Hypnosis gives you the ability to have a good life! 

My objective is to help people understand how and why we become illogically trapped into emotional experiences that may actually be happening but for reasons, we may never have imagined! If you want to know more about Hypnotherapy, why not make an appointment for a Free Consultation?

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The Research:

Low energy activities that involve sitting down are associated with an increased risk of anxiety, according to research published in the open-access journal BMC Public Health. These activities, which include watching TV, working at a computer or playing electronic games, are called sedentary behaviour. Further understanding of these behaviours and how they may be linked to anxiety could help in developing strategies to deal with this mental health problem.

Many studies have shown that sedentary behaviour is associated with physical health problems like obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis. However, there has been little research into the link between sedentary behaviour and mental health. This is the first systematic review to examine the relationship between anxiety and sedentary behaviour.

Anxiety is a mental health illness that affects more than 27 million people worldwide. It is a debilitating illness that can result in people worrying excessively and can prevent people from carrying out their daily life. It can also result in physical symptoms, which amongst others includes pounding heartbeat, difficulty breathing, tense muscles, and headaches.

Megan Teychenne, the lead researcher and lecturer at Deakin University's Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research (C-PAN) in Australia, said: "Anecdotally -- we are seeing an increase in anxiety symptoms in our modern society, which seems to parallel the increase in sedentary behaviour. Thus, we were interested to see whether these two factors were in fact linked. Also, since research has shown positive associations between sedentary behaviour and depressive symptoms, this was another foundation for further investigating the link between sedentary behaviour and anxiety symptoms."

C-PAN researchers analyzed the results of nine studies that specifically examined the association between sedentary behaviour and anxiety. The studies varied in what they classified as sedentary behaviour from television viewing/computer use to total sitting time, which included sitting while watching television, sitting while on transport and work-related sitting. Two of the studies included children/adolescents while the remaining seven included adults.

It was found in five of the nine studies that an increase in sedentary behaviour was associated with an increased risk of anxiety. In four of the studies, it was found that total sitting time was associated with an increased risk of anxiety. The evidence about screen time (TV and computer use) was less strong but one study did find that 36% of high school students that had more than 2 hours of screen time were more like to experience anxiety compared to those who had less than 2 hours.

The C-PAN team suggests the link between sedentary behaviour and anxiety could be due to disturbances in sleep patterns, social withdrawal theory and poor metabolic health. Social withdrawal theory proposes that prolonged sedentary behaviour, such as television viewing, can lead to withdrawal from social relationships, which has been linked to increased anxiety. As most of the studies included in this systematic review were cross-sectional the researchers say more follow-up work studies are required to confirm whether or not anxiety is caused by sedentary behaviour.

Megan Teychenne said: "It is important that we understand the behavioural factors that may be linked to anxiety -- in order to be able to develop evidence-based strategies in preventing/managing this illness. Our research showed that evidence is available to suggest a positive association between sitting time and anxiety symptoms -- however, the direction of this relationship still needs to be determined through longitudinal and interventional studies."

Story Source:
The above post is reprinted from materials provided by BioMed Central. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.