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Can television shorten your life?

Excess television may lead to premature death
Excess television may lead to premature death
Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images

New research suggests that long periods spent in front of the television set may actually shorten your life, even if you are otherwise healthy!

This recent study involved more than 13,000 healthy adults who were followed over eight years. The risks associated with watching TV were stunning.

When compared to people who watched less than an hour of television each day, every two additional hours a person spent watching TV had serious negative consequences:

The researchers were skeptical about their findings. So they ran the numbers a second time.

The results were again confirmed.

What could be the reason behind television and early death? Some hypothesis include:

  • People tend to consume more processed foods and sugary drinks when they watch television – both which can affect the body in a damaging manner
  • Sedentary behavior has long been suggested to shorten life…and the time we spend watching television is a highly sedentary time
  • The more time people spend watching TV, the less time they have for things that are known to prolong life, such as socializing or exercising

Take Action

Become aware! The key message of this research is to avoid spending continuous hours watching television.

Reduce and limit the time watching television to one or at the most, two hours a day. This goes for EVERY member of your family.

As the population ages, sedentary behaviors will become more prevalent, especially watching television, and this poses an additional burden on the increased health problems related to aging.

Do your best to increase physical activity. Consider walking to the store or even just walking around your home during the commercials.

Do everything you can to avoid long periods of sitting still, especially in front of the television.

Your parents were right when the said “go out and play!”

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