Why Your TV Watching Could Be Killing You

By , Category : Best Health Advice

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Do you enjoy sitting in front of the TV and watching all your favorite shows? Does the time pass and before you know it hours have passed? Well — you might be interested to know about this latest health news from researchers at the University of Queensland. The Aussie scientists have determined that people who average six hours a day of TV live about five years less than people who watch no TV.

For the study, the research team used data on 11,000 people aged 25 and older from the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study. This study included survey information about how much TV people watched in a week. The team also looked at national population and mortality figures.

Now for the TV watching totals: in 2008, Australian adults watched 9.8 billion hours of TV. Those who watched more than six hours of TV were in the top one percent for TV viewing.

The researchers found that, for every hour of television watched after age 25, lifespan fell by 22 minutes. Of course this link between a shortened lifespan and spending hours watching the tube is likely an indirect one. The more time you spend watching TV, the more time you likely spend eating mindlessly while you watch your favorite shows, and the less time you actually spend being physically active.

It may also be true that if you are watching a lot of TV every day, you may be a little isolated from the rest of the world and not participating in social interactions or activities with others. This can lead to feeling lonely or a little depressed and this state, over the long term, can lead to an earlier death.

Should you be worried about excessive TV watching? The researchers have this health advice: too much TV may be as dangerous as smoking and lack of exercise in reducing your life expectancy. Smoking can shorten your life by more than four years after the age of 50. That represents 11 minutes of life lost for every cigarette and that’s the same as half an hour of TV watching, the researchers said.

Without TV, the research team estimates life expectancy for men would be 1.8 years longer and for women, 1.5 years longer.

Remember that staying active and shortening the time spent stationary in front of the TV may be a great alternative cure for reducing the risk of heart disease and other life-threatening complications.

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Dr. Victor Marchione, MD

About the Author, Browse Victor's Articles

Victor Marchione, MD received his Bachelor of Science Degree in 1973 and his Medical Degree from the University of Messina in 1981. He has been licensed and practicing medicine in New York and New Jersey for over 20 years. Dr. Marchione is a respected leader in the field of smoking cessation and pulmonary medicine. He has been featured on ABC News and World Report, CBS Evening News and the NBC Today Show and is the editor of the popular The... Read Full Bio »