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Exercise: A Secret Weapon Against Disease?

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Exercise: A Secret Weapon Against Disease?

Photo Courtesy Of:  Thinkstock/Comstock

Not just one, but two recent studies have concluded that watching TV can have serious repercussions. If you’re over the age of 25, every hour spent in front of the TV cuts 22 minutes off your lifespan. That can equate to five years’ worth if you watch TV six hours a day—which some people actually do. According to the Daily Mail, the average Briton spends four hours a day in front of the TV and Americans spend an average of five hours a day mesmerized by television.

According to the authors:

“TV viewing time may be associated with a loss of life that is comparable to other major chronic disease risk factors such as physical inactivity and obesity.”

In another meta-analysis, published earlier this summer in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), researchers suggest that spending just two hours a day in front of the TV raises your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease by 20 percent. Add another hour to your viewing time, and you also significantly raise your risk of premature death from any cause.

Now, when you consider that an astonishing 90 percent of American children under age 2 watch TV regularly, then the damage can really start adding up over time. Many kids also have TVs in their bedrooms, which adds to the problem. It’s a no-brainer that if your child has a TV in their room, they’re going to spend more time watching it, but one study really made that point clear, showing that having a TV in the bedroom increased viewing time by nearly nine hours a week.

I personally recommend not letting young infants watch TV, and strictly limiting viewing time for both children and teens—and banning TVs from your child’s bedroom (which would also reduce the amount of electromagnetic fields they’re exposed to throughout the night). But the featured study clearly shows that TV viewing will likely cut your life short regardless of your age.

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Dr. Mercola

Dr. Mercola has been passionate about health and technology for most of his life. As a doctor of osteopathic medicine, he treated many thousands of patients for over 20 years. In the mid 90’s he integrated his passion for natural health with modern technology via the internet and developed a website, Mercola.com to spread the word about natural ways to achieve optimal health.

24 comments

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4:41PM PDT on May 22, 2012

obvious really. i LOVE to exercise!

11:45AM PST on Jan 31, 2012

Most of this is kind of obvious, or?

1:04AM PST on Jan 30, 2012

We don't turn our TV on until later in the evening. I try to eat and get my exercise in before we turn the TV on.

11:34AM PST on Jan 19, 2012

I love exercise but don't always fit it in but hardly ever sit in front of the TV, always working while watching. This article is good and highlights the latest research on exercise and should make a few people get off the couch and realize all the benefits of moving. Seems like we did discover the fountain of youth (in exercise). Thanks, Dr. Mercola.

6:31AM PST on Jan 19, 2012

i do most of my ab works, weight lifting, jogging in place, jumping jacks while watching TV. if i dont have tv i have to have music otherwise i'm not motivated to do those work outs. but i will always be motivated to walk. Its just to quiet and dull without some kind of sound in the back ground, besides i dont watch TV often only when a good show is on which is hardly ever. tuesdays for Taboo. so i work out and watch tv. and i'm not getting more of one over the other

10:50PM PST on Jan 18, 2012

I forwarded this on to a couple of 'known' couch potatoes in the family!
Thanks.

9:42PM PST on Jan 18, 2012

We forget that for hundreds of thousands of years, humans stayed healthy by working, mostly outside. They were constantly in motion. Our lifestyles are damaging...sitting, lying down, etc. Of course, its only part of it. Diet, avoiding toxins, etc. Life today is a jungle.

8:14PM PST on Jan 18, 2012

I find the distraction of a TV on while exercising is counter productive. I must admit to finding TV abhorrent, so that's not a fair assessment, but when I'm in the exercise room and drivel is coming over the airwaves, it's hard to focus on what is going on with the body, and to me, that's important. Attention is key to intention!

4:49PM PST on Jan 18, 2012

Well DUH! Move or hang/sit/lie around motionless... lets think very hard what is better for our bodies...

2:07PM PST on Jan 18, 2012

Thanks.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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