(CNN) – One of the side effects of the pandemic for many is a sedentary lifestyle.
Combine social isolation, working from home and binge-watching TV, it all adds up to Americans sitting for hours longer each day when compared to their pre-pandemic lifestyles.
Because of that, people are reporting new aches and pains, which doctors are directly linking to our inactivity.
“Muscles weaken a lot with just a little bit of inactivity and when muscles are weak … joints don’t work so well,” according to Dr. Angela Smith, a professor of orthopedics at Sidney Kimmel Medical College.
There are many guidelines that recommend how often you should get up and move around throughout the day, but Smith says rather than setting alarms, it’s better to just listen to your body.
“Anytime that you think that you are tired or stiff or want to get up and get a drink, get up. Do it. Because any motion is better than just sitting around,” according to Smith.
It’s best not to make it a chore, she says.
“We want always, exercise to be fun. Because the fun exercise is the exercise you’re going to do.”
Being physically active is not only critical for reducing aches and pains but it adds to your overall health and well-being.