This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Tanima Tandon. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Doing This One Thing Can Help You Fight Bad Health, Depression And Obesity

More from Tanima Tandon

By Tanima Tandon: 

All those who’ve had a typical 90’s childhood in India would agree with me when I say that festivals and holidays used to be those special days when we would be made to dress up in our best clothes because we were either going out to visit a relative or some distant aunt and uncle were coming home for a little chit-chat. How long has it been since we socialised like that? Seems like a distant dream now in light of the introduction of an overdose of technology in our lives. Instead of planning midnight birthday surprises for friends, we now simply dedicate our Facebook status to them to make them feel special. Instead of celebrating a colleague’s success with good food and champagne, we now prefer to send out a congratulatory email and save ourselves the cost and trouble of going out to a restaurant. The list of myriad ways in which technology and social websites have completely ruined our social networking and interpersonal skills can go on and on but I’ll stop here and urge you to take a minute to think of how this affects us as human beings and the innumerable ways in which our health — both physical and psychological- is affected.

depression

We like to believe that technology has turned the world into a global village and that we’re now able to connect with everyone with the click of a button right from the comfort of our chairs without having to move a single inch. This is exactly where the problem lies. Physical exercise, movement and exposure to the elements are completely alien concepts to those of us who’re hooked onto our computer screens day in and day out. We’re not workaholics. We do take breaks. But the breaks comprise of surfing the internet or playing games and effectively just a switch of screens. The end result? We remain seated at the same spot for a major chunk of the day and this takes a toll on our bodies in ways in which we don’t even realise until it’s too late. Global studies show that on average, we sit 7.7 hours a day, and some results estimate people sit up to 15 hours a day.

Excessive sitting impacts our body’s metabolic system. Today, our bodies are breaking down from obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, depression and the cascade of health ills and everyday malaise that come from what scientists have named sitting disease. The obvious remedy to sitting disease is standing–while you compute or do any number of activities.

Another silent side effect of such a lifestyle is depression. A new study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, shows an association between sitting time and mental health. Particularly, the longer a person sits, the more likely he or she is to have symptoms of depression. While the full causes of depression are not entirely understood, and may never be, a biological mechanism called ‘serotonin’ seems to play an important role in regulating our emotions and moods. Much research suggests that more serotonin is needed in order to effectively combat depression and anxiety. For this reason, most major anti-depressant medications contain doses of serotonin. A sedentary lifestyle does not actively promote the release of such important hormones. Put simply, if we shut off our movement, we close the supply of important hormones such as serotonin and thereby fling ourselves into the lap of depression.

Here are 8 ways you can improve your otherwise sedentary lifestyle:

1. Walk more at work: Park your car farther away from your building; use stairs not elevators; take a long route to the restroom or mail room.
2. While computing, set a timer to remind you to stand up and stretch every half hour; take this time to pick-up and clean your work area.
3. Stand up when you talk on the phone.
4. Don’t send emails if the recipient is near; walk over and talk to him or her.
5. Avoid long sitting commutes by standing on the bus, subway or train.
6. When watching TV, lose the remote; get up to change the channels.
7. Stand or exercise while you watch TV, or just stand and move around during pesky commercial breaks.
8. During intense gaming, stand up in between sessions and screen loads.

According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise can help you gain confidence, take your mind off worries, get you more social interaction and cope with life in a more positive way. The first step to exercising is standing up and shedding the couch potato skin. So let’s take a stand for improving our health; and literally, just stand up and you’ll be better off.

You must be to comment.
  1. Amarpreet Kaur

    This is the truth of today’s times. Sedentary lifestyles are playing havoc with our health and mental peace.

  2. Aditi Thakker

    Your suggestions are so simple and easy to implement. Technology has made us to lazy. Apart from walking while I talk on my phone, I do nothing of what you’ve mentioned. Time to change.

More from Tanima Tandon

Similar Posts

By Sudipta Mishra

By Shrsti Tiwari

By Ashi Gupta

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below