When you were young, how many times did your mother tell you to stop melting your brain in front of the television, and go play outside? How many times have you said that to your own kids only to plant yourself in front of the screen as soon as they’re tucked into bed?
A new study from the University of Queensland recently found compelling evidence to suggest that adults should start taking their own advice.
According to results recently published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers found that, for individuals age 25 and older, every hour of television watched could shorten life expectancy by nearly 22 minutes.
The amount of TV viewed in Australia in 2008 reduced life expectancy at birth by 1.8 years (95% uncertainty interval (UI): 8.4 days to 3.7 years) for men and 1.5 years (95% UI: 6.8 days to 3.1 years) for women. Compared with persons who watch no TV, those who spend a lifetime average of 6 h/day watching TV can expect to live 4.8 years (95% UI: 11 days to 10.4 years) less. On average, every single hour of TV viewed after the age of 25 reduces the viewer’s life expectancy by 21.8 (95% UI: 0.3–44.7) min.
As someone who loves vegging out in front of my favorite shows once the day’s work is done, these statistics are sobering. Here’s some more food for thought:
- You burn more calories while sleeping than while watching TV
- For every additional two hours people spend glued to the tube on a typical day, their risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases by 20 percent and their risk of heart disease increases by 15 percent
- Most children ages 3-12 spend 1 percent of their time outdoors, and 27 percent of their time just watching TV
Not to mention the fact that your DVR and or cable box uses wastes more energy than your refrigerator.
In the interest of a longer life, slimmer waistline and smaller energy bill, let’s all pledge to trade at least one hour of television watching for something, anything else!
Look how many calories you could burn:
- Reading 72
- Having Sex 99
- Cooking 180
- Playing Piano 189
- Housework 198
- Fishing 207
What would you do with an extra hour a day? Share your calorie-burning suggestions in a comment!
Image Credit: Flickr - anuko