- Modern lifestyles, including home design, contribute to Americans’ increasingly sedentary behavior, leading to health risks.
- Lack of outdoor space, home entertainment systems, limited natural light, poor layout, and accessibility promote inactivity.
- Homes without outdoor spaces, excessive screen time, dark interiors, cluttered spaces, and inaccessible designs discourage physical movement.
- Creating outdoor spaces, installing swimming pools, establishing home gyms, and designing homes for activity can encourage active lifestyles.
- By redesigning living spaces to encourage movement, you can combat sedentaryness and promote healthier, more active lifestyles.
It’s no secret that modern lifestyles involve a lot of sitting. Whether it’s at the office, in the car, or front of the TV, many Americans spend most of their days in a seated position. But did you know that the design of your home can also contribute to a sedentary lifestyle? Here’s what you need to know about the sedentary lifestyle of Americans, how your home contributes to your sedentary lifestyle, and ways you can improve your home to deal with it.
The Sedentary Lifestyle of Americans
Fewer Americans are now engaging in physical activity than ever before. A 2017 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report found that only 23% of Americans ages 18–64 met the recommended guidelines for aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities, while 31% reported engaging in no leisure-time physical activity. This sedentary lifestyle has been linked to several health issues, such as increased risk for heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and depression.
How Your Home Could Be Encouraging a Sedentary Lifestyle
The design of your home can play a role in the level of physical activity you get throughout the day. Here’s how your home is promoting a sedentary lifestyle:
1. Lack of Outdoor Space
One of the most common ways homes promote a sedentary lifestyle is by lacking outdoor space. Finding ways to stay active and get some fresh air can be challenging if you don’t have a backyard or a nearby park.
2. Home Entertainment Systems
Another common way that homes may promote a sedentary lifestyle is by featuring home entertainment systems. TVs, video game consoles, and other electronic devices can majorly distract from physical activity. To combat this problem, try reducing your screen time or limiting your time watching TV or playing video games. You could also consider playing physical games like ping pong or football instead of sitting on the couch all day.
3. Lack of Natural Light
A third way homes may promote a sedentary lifestyle is by lacking natural light. When we spend most of our time indoors, we’re more likely to feel tired and sluggish, contributing to a lack of physical activity. To combat this problem, try opening your curtains and letting in more natural light. You could also consider investing in some indoor plants or using bright colors in your decor to create a more lively and energetic space.
4. Poor Layout and Design
Another way that homes may promote a sedentary lifestyle is by featuring a poor layout and design. If your home is cluttered and difficult to navigate, it can be easy to avoid moving around and staying active. To combat this problem, consider rearranging your furniture to create a more open and inviting space. You could also invest in some storage solutions to help keep your home organized and clutter-free.
5. Lack of Accessibility
Finally, homes may also promote a sedentary lifestyle by lacking accessibility. If you live in a multi-story home, avoiding stairs and relying on the elevator can be tempting. Similarly, if your home is far from public transportation or relies on a car to get around, it can be challenging to stay active. To combat this problem, try taking the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible, or consider cycling or walking for short trips instead of driving.
Ways to Improve Your Home For an Active Lifestyle
You can improve your home to encourage an active lifestyle in many ways. Here are a few ideas:
Create An Outdoor Space
Creating an outdoor space is one of the best ways to stay active and get fresh air. Investing in a backyard or balcony garden can be a great way to make your home more inviting and help you break away from passive activities.
Installing a swimming pool is one of the most fun and luxurious ways to stay active. Swimming is an excellent form of exercise and can help you become more physically fit while still enjoying the comfort of your home. However, ensure you get a robust swimming pool design that doesn’t require much upkeep and maintenance. This way, you can save money on pool maintenance.
If you’re serious about getting in shape, investing in a home gym can be a great way to make working out easy and accessible. You can find a variety of home gym equipment online, from treadmills to weights and more.
Design Your Home for Activity
Finally, it’s essential to design your home in such a way that encourages physical activity. Investing in furniture with flexible designs can help you create spaces suitable for lounging and exercising. Additionally, adding features like low shelves or pull-out drawers can help you make the most of your space and create a home that encourages physical activity.
Leading an active lifestyle is more than just incorporating exercises into your daily routine; it also means creating an environment that promotes and supports physical activities. By understanding how home design can contribute to a sedentary lifestyle, we can take proactive steps to alter our living spaces to encourage movement and activity. Making a few changes to your home, such as creating an outdoor space or simply redesigning your living area, can make a significant difference. It’s never too late to make these changes and step towards a healthier, more active lifestyle.