WHY THE RISE?
So why are chronic diseases rising? There is no single reason for the rise in chronic diseases but an ageing population, lifestyle changes and accumulating risks in society are likely to be the key problems. Society is seeing an increase in population ageing. The percentage of today’s older population (people aged 65 and over) is at the highest it’s ever been. Now people living longer isn’t a bad thing, however, with an aging population comes a growth in chronic diseases as the older you get the more likely you are to develop a chronic disease like arthritis. But this may not be so for those that have learned to live a healthy life. Learning the keys to vitality holds much to living a disease-free life. Ageing populations aren’t just being seen in first world countries either, they are being seen in countries all around the world including developing countries.
The other likely cause for the growth in chronic diseases is that, as a society, particularly in more developed countries, people are now generally leading more sedentary lifestyles. Now, what is a sedentary lifestyle you ask?
A sedentary lifestyle is basically a laid-back lifestyle taken to the extremes, this is often confused with being lazy but many people who have sedentary lifestyles do lead busy lives. For example, if you work in an office then you’re going to spend most of your time sitting at your desk, aren’t you? You could be very busy and have a lot of work to handle, however, while you may be busy you aren’t really being physically active. Basically, a sedentary lifestyle is a lifestyle in which you spend too much time sitting down or being inactive. Everyday activities like watching television, playing video games, searching the internet, using a smartphone or tablet and even things like reading a book, can all fall into a sedentary lifestyle.
So, while it might seem you are very busy and active you’re not being very physical, and with the perceived importance and popularity of smartphones and social media these days (especially in first world countries) it’s easy to see how people can fall into a sedentary lifestyle.
Leading a sedentary lifestyle can lead to you developing a chronic disease; the growing trend of sedentary lifestyles when coupled with other things such as a poor diet or smoking, excessive alcohol intake, substance misuse etc are of the main reasons chronic diseases are so prevalent today. Also, family redisposition post risks in addition to the risk factors. Medical technology and science may be growing but on its own, it can only do so much.