New Study: Your Television Is Killing You


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 theUniversity of Queensland recently found compelling evidence to suggest that adults should start taking their own advice.

According to results recently published inthe 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: 0.344.7) 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!

Related Reading:

American Children Becoming Less Creative

Doctor’s Recommend Three Hours Daily Exercise For Children

U.S. Churches Join The Fight Against Obesity

Image Credit: Flickr - anuko


a             y m.
g d c5 years ago


Mark S.
Mark S6 years ago

lol, Dr. C, I burn more calories just thinking about it!!!!

Dr Clue
Dr Clue6 years ago

If your only burning 99 calories having sex , ya need to practice more cause you ain't doing it right :)

Mark S.
Mark S6 years ago

Who wants to live anyway, if they cannot enjoy their life?? I'd rather have a short life enjoying myself than a long life of boredom and depression. TV is just one of my favorite pastimes.I do other things too. Life is overrated anyway. It's about quality of life, not quantity. I hope I die before I get too old to be able to do the stuff I can do now. I hope I die before getting dementia, get a terminal painful illness, or go to a nursing home, (usually a last stop and prolonged death.) And I definitely hope I die before the collapse of the U.S.

Lin Moy
Lin M6 years ago

Not even hooked up for tv anymore, just junk on now.

Pat Vee
Pat Vee6 years ago

Have sex or watch TV Hmm,read a book while watching TV Hmm watch people on TV having sex.Go for a walk in the cold and rain or have sex.Or do lots of cooking while playing the piano.I just cant make up my mind.So I will make a cup of tea and watch Full to the Rafters.

Morgan Becker
Morgan Becker6 years ago

It's definitely a "yes" if video games count. (to the poll, I mean)

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle6 years ago

I watch little t.v. (a friend had to call and tell me that my area in Texas had a wildfire encroaching on it), but my husband watches from the time he comes home from work, until he falls asleep in front of it. He "says" it helps him to "relax." I won't allow a t.v. in our bedroom.

Finica Daniel Radu

I don't have a tv in my room...I don't watch tv...just when I go to some friends.

Tom Sullivan
Tom C Sullivan6 years ago

Sex is good, so is the rest. almost everyone watches 2 much. I try to spend as much time outdoors as I can.I am guilty also. But weaning off TV. might wean of puter also. will spend more time with our Doggies.