Sedentary Lifestyle: Why It’s So Common in The U.S.

exercising woman
  • The sedentary lifestyle of many Americans is associated with health risks and mortality rates.
  • Desk jobs, technology advances, geography, and lifestyle patterns contribute to this behavior.
  • Habits such as watching TV before bed or eating meals in front of the screen promote inactivity.
  • Renovating your home with a swimming pool, home gym equipment, outdoor living space, and an ergonomic office can help you lead a more active life.
  • Adding physical activity to your daily routine will help you stay active without sacrificing leisure time.

If you’re reading this, you might be sitting down. The sedentary lifestyle of many Americans has become a widespread concern among health professionals. Many have grown increasingly inactive, with long work hours, sedentary jobs, and shorter leisure times. This sedentary behavior has become so persistent that it’s the 4th leading risk contributor to global mortality rates. It’s not merely about weight gain but how your sedentary lifestyle affects your mental and physical wellness.

The Sedentary Life of Americans

The sedentary lifestyle of Americans has been a growing concern in recent years. Sedentary behavior refers to activities that involve sitting or reclining and require little physical movement.

With the advancements in technology, changes in work patterns, and the prevalence of sedentary leisure activities, many Americans spend a significant portion of their day sitting or engaging in activities with minimal physical activity. It’s estimated that about 15% of Americans in every state live sedentary lives. Here are some reasons they live such a life and how you can renovate your home to ensure you live a more active life.

Desk Jobs

Many Americans have sedentary jobs that require them to sit at desks for eight or more hours daily. Their muscles become inactive without physical movement, leading to body stiffness and weakened muscles. According to a study by the American Heart Association, employees who sit at their desks for an extended period are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and other health issues.

Technology Advances

Technology has brought many ease and comfort but also has made us lazier and less active. Platforms like online shopping, streaming services, video games, and social media encourage you to stay seated for extended periods. Even your smartphones, laptops, and tablets, which many people use for work and leisure, lead to hours of inactivity.


The urbanization of many cities has made it difficult to walk or bike to work, school, or even to recreational and leisure places. Americans prefer driving over walking or biking, partly due to the lack of infrastructure promoting active living. Not to mention, how suburban areas are designed also contributes to the sedentary lifestyle. Awkwardly large parking lots and land planning that favors car usage make it difficult for people not to use their cars.

Lifestyle Patterns

Americans view physical activity as a task or something to fit into their schedules. More often, it’s not a priority or viewed as leisure. People who lead active lives view physical activity as a meaningful part of their day and life. To many Americans, physical activity requires intention and effort, which sometimes they don’t have the time or motivation to give.

Sedentary Habits

Many Americans have developed habits that promote inactivity. Harmless habits such as watching TV before bed or eating meals in front of the screen promote sitting down for more extended periods during the day and reduce the opportunities for physical activity. Also, many people prefer sedentary leisure, like watching television or browsing social media platforms, because it provides effortless instant gratification.

woman meditating indoors

Renovating Your Home For a More Active Life

Your home can ensure that you live a more active life. Here are four renovations you should make for your home for a more active life:

Build a Swimming Pool

Swimming is a fun and low-impact exercise that helps reduce the risk of health issues associated with a sedentary lifestyle. Installing a swimming pool in your backyard or patio will encourage you to get more physical activity and lead an active life. However, ensure that you reduce moisture around your swimming pool to prevent slips and depreciation of your home. Install reliable concrete swimming pool coatings to ensure that these things won’t happen. It’s made of materials resistant to water, chemical, and UV damage.

man on treadmill

Install Home Gym Equipment

Home gym equipment is an excellent way to add physical activity to your daily routine without leaving the house. Installing a treadmill or elliptical machine will allow you to exercise while watching TV or reading a book. You can also invest in adjustable dumbbells to have a range of weights for different workouts.

Create an Outdoor Living Space

Create an outdoor living space where you can spend time with family and friends while getting some physical activity like playing catch, volleyball, soccer, or any other game that requires movement. It’s also great for barbecues and picnics, so you’ll be encouraged to stay outdoors instead of inside.

Design a Home Office

Creating an ergonomic office space with a standing desk and comfortable chair is essential if you work from home. The right setup will ensure you don’t stay in one position for too long and get enough physical activity throughout the day.

The sedentary lifestyle of many Americans is becoming increasingly concerning as its effects on health become more apparent. To lead an active life, renovate your home according to the points discussed above and be intentional about adding physical activity to your daily routine. This way, you can stay active without leaving the house or sacrificing leisure time.

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