Sedentary Lifestyle: The Main Risk Factor for These Chronic Illnesses 

September 8, 2021
1 min read
Sedentary Lifestyle: The Main Risk Factor for These Chronic Illnesses 

A sedentary lifestyle is characterized by inactivity with an abundance of relaxation. It is the opposite of an active lifestyle. Sedentary lifestyles are becoming commonplace in the United States, with increasing numbers of people spending most of their time sitting and not performing much physical activity.

There are some drawbacks to a sedentary lifestyle, including an increased risk of developing some serious illnesses. Continuous sedentary behavior is one of the key risk factors for heart disease, diabetes, and a wide range of other chronic diseases. Here is more information about these diseases.

Cardiovascular Disease

Sitting down much of the time and a lack of exercise are two main cardiovascular disease risk factors. Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) describe a wide range of diseases that affect the heart and blood vessels. High blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and coronary heart disease are some examples of cardiovascular disease. They are almost all chronic and require continual medical attention.

Sedentary behavior can take a toll on your cardiovascular health. Physical inactivity trails behind only tobacco smoking as the leading single cause of death in the United States. Meeting exercise guidelines set by the CDC, which recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, places you at a much lower risk of developing a CVD. 

Heart Disease

Heart disease is a type of CVD that affects the function and structure of the heart. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute reports that at least 1 in 10 American adults has been diagnosed with heart disease. 

People who live sedentary lifestyles tend to have high blood pressure at a much higher frequency than people with active lifestyles. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is known to cause many heart diseases. Sedentary lifestyles are also known to diminish your HDL cholesterol supply. HDL cholesterol is the good cholesterol that removes LDL, or harmful cholesterol. Too much LDL cholesterol is one of the risk factors for heart disease. 


Sedentary lifestyles can lead to type 2 diabetes, a condition in which the body has difficulty processing glucose in the bloodstream. Consistent exercise and movement help muscles absorb glucose more efficiently. Low activity levels put you at a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes. 

It is important to maintain a consistent exercise routine and limit sitting time if you want to avoid type 2 diabetes. The more time you spend sitting, the more likely you are to get type 2. 


It is no secret that cancer is a dangerous and deadly chronic illness. Cancer develops when cells divide uncontrollably in one of your organs. The risk of developing certain cancers increases if you are living a sedentary lifestyle. Poor diets that are high in fats and sugars also increase the risk of cancer. Researchers have found a correlation between unhealthy diets and low activity levels. A sedentary lifestyle is especially worrisome if you already have a family history of cancer.

BASS Medical Groups acknowledges the problems that can develop for people with sedentary lifestyles. Our medical professionals can offer you tips on how to avoid sedentary activities, stay physically active, and maintain a healthy diet to help you avoid serious chronic illnesses. If you are seeking more information about the correlation between chronic illnesses and sedentary lifestyles, then visit our website or call us at (925) 350-4044