Sedentary Lifestyle: Killing Yourself with Ease

March 18, 2024

Contributor: Rashid Shabir Abbasi

UIII, DEPOK - In our world of technology and comfort, we are facing a hidden problem – a lifestyle that's too comfy for our own good. The ease with which we navigate our daily lives has reached unprecedented levels, yet lurking beneath the surface lies a silent epidemic – the sedentary lifestyle. The modern world, with its abundance of machines and gadgets designed to make life more comfortable, has inadvertently become a breeding ground for health issues that can be tantamount to self-destruction.

In the midst of our quest for safety and comfort, it becomes imperative to reflect on the profound truth that the hardship woven into the fabric of human growth and development was not a mere accident. It was a deliberate design, a part of the grand scheme crafted by a higher power – a divine plan that we, in our modern age of safety, have unwittingly veered away from –to deal with tough times, learn from them, and grow stronger. As the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer wisely said, “Life swings like a pendulum backward and forward between pain and boredom.”

The suburban lifestyle, often seen as peaceful and safe, is turning out to be a bit of a villain in this narrative. With its representation of a self-created Utopia, complete with safety, security, and quietude, suburban life deprives us of the very extremes that are essential for our personal and collective growth. It is a life where nothing major happens – no wars to fight, no crises to overcome. In the absence of external challenges, humans seek to artificially stimulate themselves with various forms of escapism, be it through the consumption of drugs or the mind-numbing routine of a sedentary lifestyle. The lack of genuine challenges and extreme situations leads to a dearth of motivation, a deficiency of the very stimuli that initiate the dopamine cycle crucial for our well-being.

Many of us still remember school days when the classmate who lived closest still struggled to get there on time. Humans thrive on problem-solving, on the dichotomy of villain and hero. The suburban life, unfortunately, is a villainless existence, where the absence of real problems robs us of the chance to become our own heroes.

To truly thrive and stay healthy, we need to reintroduce a bit of challenge into our lives. We need real problems to solve, goals to achieve, and maybe even a few "villains" to face. This way, our brains release the feel-good chemical dopamine, and we naturally feel happier and more alive. In the absence of genuine struggles, we unwittingly embark on a journey of self-sabotage, gradually "killing our own self" by depriving ourselves of the very experiences that make us truly alive.

As we tackle the issue of our sedentary habits, let's also remember the importance of facing challenges. Our comfort shouldn't come at the cost of our well-being. By welcoming life's ups and downs, we can break free from the sedentary routine and start a journey toward a healthier and more fulfilling life. It's time to rediscover the hero within ourselves.