Editorial: Sedentary Saga Of Couch Potatoes

Editorial: Sedentary Saga Of Couch Potatoes

FPJ EditorialUpdated: Thursday, June 27, 2024, 11:07 PM IST
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Representative Image | Pixabay

Half of adults in India lead a sedentary life, making them prime candidates for a buffet of lifestyle diseases like diabetes and hypertension. If that wasn’t enough, the sedentary population is growing so rapidly that in another six years, they will make up 60% of adults. This alarming projection comes courtesy of a group of researchers who published their findings in the esteemed Lancet Global Health Journal. The World Health Organisation's yardstick for a sedentary lifestyle is anyone who doesn’t clock 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week. Unsurprisingly, a 2021 study revealed that India had 110 million diabetics and 315 million hypertension sufferers. These conditions bring along a posse of life-threatening companions like stroke, cardiac arrest, and renal failure.

Unfortunately, there’s no quick fix to this problem. In 2000, only 22% of adults were living the couch potato life. By 2010, that number had ballooned to 34%. Prosperity is the main culprit. Gone are the days when people walked to schools or offices. Now, they hop into vehicles for the shortest trips. In the West, such individuals are dubbed couch potatoes for their TV binge-watching habits. But make no mistake, this is as much an Indian problem as it is a global one. The proliferation of the Internet and the allure of social media have turned smartphones into personal entertainment hubs. Millions are glued to their screens when they should be up and about. Manual labour is practically obsolete in this age of machines.

It’s ironic that a nation that introduced Yoga to the world now needs to take a leaf out of its own book. It’s high time for Indians to rearrange their routines and make physical exercise a staple of their daily lives. In short, roll off the mat and embrace the mat!

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