Sedentary means stability or lack of motion. Sedentary lifestyle means performing day to day activities in a relaxed mode. Excessive stability in the life leads to enhancement of kapha dosha in the body, as stability of lack of motion or stagnation is the one of the prime quality of the kapha dosha. For example, if we sit or sleep constantly for a long period without any motion in the body, then the stability factor get increased in the body, hence the kapha dosha gets increases. Same time on the other hand increasing of the kapha leads to decrease in the vata dosha. Vata dosha has the prime quality or guna, Chalatava means motion. When vata gets decreased this particular quality of vata decreases, hence stability increases. So, sedentary lifestyle means increase of Kapha Dosha and decrease of Vata dosha.
Pitta dosha in the body is correlated with the heat generated inside body. When the body will be active more heat will be generated, but when the body will be inactive heat produced will be less comparatively. This leads to the production of less pitta dosha. Hence pitta will also get decreased due to sedentary life style. Pitta dosha is also related to the digestive power or can say with the metabolism. When the pitta gets decreased automatically the digestive process also get weaken and the food which was consumed will not be digest. This whole process leads to mal nourishment in the body and the tissues or the dhatus will not be nourished properly.
Activities that may leads to sedentary life style
- Random eating of fried foods, sweets, heavy-to-digest foods, non veg
- Using newly harvested rice, grains, fresh wine,
- Excess usage of dairy products
- Aversion towards exercise, gym, Yoga, outdoor games, camping, trekking.
- Indulging in long time day-sleep,
- Sleeping and resting all the time,
- feeling comfortable in your couch / desk for long hours, without any movement / physical activities
- Feeding on junk foods, aerated drinks, colas.
As discussed earlier, with the sedentary life style kapha dosha increases which also leads to the deposition of thick viscous like fatty material in the blood vessels commonly called as cholesterols and also deposits excessive fats over all in the body. This leads to weight gain and ultimately the obesity.
As the blood vessels starts getting obstruction with the deposition of fats, the blood flow will be hampered and on the other hand when vata dosha gets decreased, this also lowered the movement of body fluids at the tissues and cellular level, which causes lowered elimination of the toxins from the body and the toxins starts accumulating inside.
Blockade in the blood vessels with fats and cholesterol may also leads to certain cardiovascular problems and problems related to liver like fatty infiltration liver etc.
Kapha dosha leads to increase in the stiffness in the body. Due to sedentary life style more kapha will get produced hence more stiffness will be caused, which leads the joints to become stiff and painful.
Like above there are lot of other problems which can arise from the sedentary life. In the ayurvedic classics it is clearly mentioned that the kapha dosha gets increased due to sedentary life. This increased kapha dosha can cause lot of complication in the body but in the classics there are mentioned twenty types of disease which are prime in nature. These are called kaphaja nanatmaja vikaras means diseases particularly caused by kapha dosha. These are:
1.Trupti (anorexia nervosa) = lack of interest in food because of low digestion strength
2. Tandra (drowsiness)
3. Nidraa Adhikya (excessive sleep)
4. Staimitya (timidness, stiffness)
5. Guru Gatrata (heaviness of the body)
6. Alasya (laziness)
7. Mukha Maadhurya (sweet taste in mouth)
8. Mukha Srava (excess salivation)
9. Shleshmodgirana (mucus expectoration)
10. Malaadhikya (excessive excretion of excreta)
11. Balasaka (loss of strength)
12. Apakti (indigestion)
13. Hrudayopalepa (feeling as if heart is wrapped up with moisture)
14. Kantopalepa (phlegm adhered to throat)
15. Dhamani Pratichaya (hardening of vessels)
16. Galaganda (goiter)
17. Ati Sthaulya (obesity)
18. Sheetaagnita(suppression of digestive powder)
19. Udarda (urticaria)
20. Shvetaavabhasata (pallor), Shveta Mutra Netra Varchastva (whiteness of urine, eye and faces)
Diseases commonly occurs due to sedentary lifestyle:
Diabetes ( madhumeha )– metabolism get affected and weakens with the sedentary life style, due to which the calories starts accumulating in the body, which leads to rise in the glucose level in the blood results in diabetes.
Skin manifestations ( twak vikara ) : Carbuncles, urticaria, certain fungal infections, itching etc are Kapha Dosha predominat skin infections that are quite common and get increased due to sedentary lifestyle.
Urinary track infections ( mootra roga) :–stagnation is the prime factor in sedentary life style. Hence stagnation of urine in the bladder for more than normal time may leads to the manifestation of many organisms in the urine which leads to certain infections. On the other hand in sedentary life style individual become lethargic, due to which water intake gets decreases and the urine become concentrated, which also leads to so many complications.
Hypertension and cardiac problems ( uccharaktachapa and hridya vikara ) : As discussed earlier, with the sedentary life style with fats and cholesterols gets accumulated inside the blood vessels leading so many complications like hypertension, coronary artery disease etc. Also excessive intake of fast foods and junk foods like burger, pizzas etc and high salt products intake results in hypertension like disorders.
Drowsiness, lethargy, lack of energy:– as discussed earlier when stability gets increased in the body and the person tends to remain in a single posture or position for a long period of time. This starts increasing more drowsiness and lethargy ness in the body.
Infertility (bandhyatawa):according to ayurvedic theory, excessive intake of calories and sedentary routine leads to obesity, in which only the fats gets nourished with the aahara rasa or the food which we take. Other tissues like bones, bone marrow and semen or sexual organs receives less nourishment, leads to many serious complications. In men it causes decreased sexual interest and semen quality and quantity and in women, it causes hormonal imbalances resulting PCOS, and other problems.
Management of sedentary life style disorders:
1. Try to maintain a routine for every day to day activities, right from the waking up from bed in the morning to the time of sleep. Give proper time for every thing.
- Wake up early in the morning at least before 6 AM of before. As per ayurvedic ideology right time to wake up in the morning is approximately 90 minutes before sunrise. This is called Braham muhurat.
- Drink water empty stomach before sun rise is called Ushapana in ayurveda. This is also called water therapy, which keeps body free from many ailments.
- Take meals twice a day at appropriate time. Empty stomach and overeating both leads to gastritis. Avoid these things.
- Regular exercise and physical activities maintain and helps in burning excessive calories.
- Do not stick to the chair for long time, start moving after long sitting, or try working in standing position as standing constant for some time burns more calories.
- Fasting once in a week or skipping meals for a single time in a day helps in improving and maintaining healthy digestion process. Also keeps body active by reducing lethargy ness and inactiveness.
Panchakarma treatment and other therapies:
From panchakarma point of view, first sodhana or purification of the body must be done with:
1. Vamana Karma:– Means induced emesis or vomiting, this helps to expel out excess Kapha dosha from the body. This treatment will act as a trigger to the path of recovery. Upper abdomen and the chest region having kapha dosha will be cleaned with this procedure. By this procedure weight lose to some extent is also there which helps in the recovery from the obesity.
- Virechana therapy–Induced Purgation therapy is usually done to expel out the remaining Kapha dosha in the abdomen and mainly the Pitta dosha. After both the vamana and virechana, dietary regimen called samsarjana karma should be followed properly, this also helps in the recovery.
- Dhumapana – herbal smoking – helps to clear the doshas from the body and mind and provides activeness in the body. Dhoompana or herbal amoke helps in eliminating excessive kapha from the body
4. Swedana – Hot fomentation – helps to clear up the body channels by removing toxins from the body through sweat and initiates the process of reducing cholesterol and fats.
- Udwartana or Herbal Powder massage – This is a special body massage done with herbal powders in dry form. This massage has special feature that this will bw done in the upward direction. By doing this friction produces which helps in reducing fats and cholesterols from the body
Few common medicines effective in reducing the symptoms arise due to sedentary like style and helps in maintaining healthy life:
Triphala churna – Rich in antioxidants, excellent rejuvenator, helps to lose weight, a good laxative and cleans the body by eliminating the toxins.
Agastya haritaki – Useful in respiratory disorders, obesity, clears body channels and reduces cholesterol.
Ayaskruti – Classical medicine indicated in obesity, fatty liver changes, anaemia, skin disorders etc.
Asanadi Kashayam, Varanadi Kashayam- helps in reducing blockades in the body and also reduces fats and cholesterol.
Useful herbs and spices:
Ginger, long pepper, black pepper, Coriander seeds, Asa foetida, Moringa, cardamom, neem, turmeric, Triphala, Aragvadha (Cassia fistula), Patha (Cissampelos pareira Linn), Saptaparna (Alstonia scholaris .Br), Vatsaka (Holarrhena antidysenterica Wall.), Musta (Cyperus rotundus), Madanaphala (Randia dumetorum Lam), etc.