A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine said TV watching can shorten one’s lifespan by twenty-two minutes for each hour watched. It also said individuals who watch TV for six hours on average, live five years less than people who don’t watch it at all. It isn’t just the TV watching that is the problem, it is the sedentary lifestyle associated with watching TV. People who don’t exercise are much more prone to obesity, diabetes and heart disease, and excessive TV watching means a person’s waking hours are organized in part around not moving very much. The study noted that TV watching can be compared to other unhealthy activities, such as smoking, for impact on lifespans, “the data discovered in the study proposes watching TV can be as dangerous as pre-established life expectancy lowering behaviors like smoking and not getting enough exercise. For every cigarette smoked, a smoker loses 11 minutes of his or her life, which is exactly half the amount reduced by watching an hour of television.” (Source: IBTimes.com)
Another potential contributor to the unhealthy practice of excessive TV watching is the fact some people eat junk food while watching it, or overeat while watching it because they are less likely to pay attention to how much they are eating. The study analyzed data from 11,000 people 25 years old and above from Australia. TV watching could also said to reduce ones lifespan because it literally means one is not participating in life, instead choosing a passive, virtual reality which is often more about escapism than reality.
Some people are not particularly concerned with such research studies and use the relative risk concept–they would rather engage in hedonistic pursuits for the pleasure involved, knowing there are risks, and thus taking their chances. Others are more disciplined and limit their “screen time”–whether it is TV, computer or mobile device use.
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