A Millennial not on the move – Sedentary lifestyle and risk of  diabetes in young adults

Young adult

Work pressures, party culture, pressure of relationships, and bad lifestyle choices seem to drive the millennials of India towards bad health. This is evident from the increasing number of people walking into the hospitals with symptoms of diabetes, hypertension, and other chronic diseases.

They constitute the majority of the workforce in India; they are the digital natives with high levels of social consciousness; they are the millennials of India. They work hard, party harder; they workout, and have medical  insurance, but are they really health conscious?

Having a gym membership, an apartment in a society with swimming pools and a clubhouse, and opting for fancy medical insurance schemes is certainly an investment. But, these investments yield results only when you use them!

It is a fact that most of us spend the day in the office, commuting to and fro, and the rest of the time on mobile devices or TV. Though some of us hit the gym or put on the jogging shoes, we tend to nullify that with a spicy dinner.

And, what with the work from home, there are no longer 40-hour weeks. It is estimated that most of the millennials of India put in a stressful 54-hour week giving them no time even to breathe let alone ponder.

This mammoth work week creates physical, and mental stress and is also responsible for the breakup of many relationships. Moreover this makes us sedentary, which is the mother of all diseases.  

 Ill effects of a sedentary lifestyle

  1. Being sedentary and inactive leads to diseases like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis.
  2. Sedentary lifestyle leads to compromised flexibility of the muscles and lower metabolic rates.
  3. Increases the risk of certain cancers like lung cancer, colon cancer, and endometrial cancer.
  4. It reduces the sex drive and increases the risk of erectile dysfunction in men.
  5. Increases the risk of mood disorders and other psychological disorders.


Diabetes and Sedentary Lifestyle  

It might not be a sin to feel sleepy in an office meeting, but if you feel fogged all day and are unable to concentrate, it might be a classic symptom of high blood sugar. Called a brain fog, it is the inability to concentrate and focus due to erratic blood sugar levels.

Other high blood sugar symptoms that appear in people with sedentary lifestyle include frequent headaches, blurred vision, frequent urge to urinate and increased thirst.  

Symptoms of Diabetes

  • Increased thirst.
  • Increased urination.
  • Sudden weight loss.
  • Blurry vision.
  • Fatigue.
  • Wounds and cuts that heal slowly.

If you are over 30 years of age and spend a good deal of time in the office, it is better to get a screening for diabetes even though you do not have diabetes.

This is because though diabetes might be caused to a family history, ethnicity, and environmental conditions,  research suggests that lifestyle factors are contributing more to the incidence of type 2  diabetes. Screening is vital as there are numerous people with prediabetes and undiagnosed diabetes who lead a sedentary lifestyle.

In people who lead sedentary life, there is a high risk of developing obesity. Obesity is directly linked to the development of impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance. This paves way to glucose intolerance and type 2 diabetes.

Added to this, the number of millennial Indians who consume  alcohol, smoke, and make poor dietary choices are high and are prone to type 2 diabetes.

Since it might take some time from the onset to the appearance of diabetes symptoms, some damage is already done!      

Diabetes is a lifelong condition and can lead to serious complications like diabetic nephropathy, neuropathy, retinopathy, and others.

How to avoid diabetes

Here’s a list of dos and don’ts that reduce the risk of diabetes to a great extent.

What to avoid

  • Avoid smoking completely.
  • Limit your alcohol intake.
  • Do not consume sodas and sugary drinks.
  • Do not sit for long durations.
  • Avoid high carb diet.
  • Never binge eat.
  • Avoid midnight snacking.
  • Never skip meals.

What to do

  • Work towards work-life balance.
  • Get adequate sleep.
  • Get enough exercise.
  • Go for low a carb diet.
  • Get a walk after lunch and dinner.
  • Hydrate adequately.
  • Learn a new sport.  

It’s quite easy to get caught in the fast-paced life, but you can sustain the speed and growth only if you’re healthy! So, stop spending excess time on mobile devices and take a hike!

But, if you are already experiencing the above mentioned symptoms of diabetes consult a doctor now!