Why Turning Off The TV Could Save Your Life

   By drodriguez  Jan 11, 2011

Eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly may not be enough if you’re looking to stay healthy in the long term.  You will probably want to keep your television viewing and web surfing in check as well if you want to live a long and healthy life says a new study.

The study, conducted by a group of international researchers and reported about on ABC News, reveals that people who watch TV, surf the web, or play video games for a period of time totaling 4 hours or more a day actually increase their chances of suffering a heart attack and stroke by 113 percent compared to those who spend 2 hours or less performing these activities.  People who spent 4 hours or more viewing TV’s or computers also increased their risk of death by  about 50 percent.  

One interesting aspect of the study is that it doesn’t seem to matter whether the TV viewers worked out or not, they still suffered the same health risks when they watched 4 or more hours.  The study’s lead author, Emmanuel Stamatakis, explains why he believes so many people who sit in front of the set for 4 hours a day end up with health problems.  Stamatakis says, “Assuming that leisure-time screen time is a representative indicator of overall sitting, our results lend support to the idea that prolonged sitting is linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and premature mortality.  Doing some exercise every day may not compensate for the damage done during very long periods of screen time.”

One reason watching so much TV can be bad for a person is that the act of sitting burns very few calories.  Simply standing or shifting your weight from side to side is actually double the metabolic rate as sitting.  People who sit in front of a computer at work all day and then go home and park themselves in front of the TV seem to be especially at risk for cardiovascular problems.  

What do you think of the latest study revealing TV viewing can be bad for your health?

Do you spend 4 hours or more a day watching TV, surfing the web or playing video games?

Make a Comment

amandastacy by amandastacy | McMinnville, TN
Feb 08, 2011

Im in trouble then!

mimariposa11 by mimariposa11 | Pocahontas, AR
Feb 06, 2011

My knees agree with this study. After sitting on the couch with the laptop in position for a few hours it is an old creeky woman that stands up to go relieve herself. I have a stationary bicycle that hasn't been ridden but a few times this winter. Think it is time to get back on and peddle some fluids back into the knees...

jlynna by jlynna | Dover, DE
Feb 02, 2011

I agree with Smoaksmom above. It is about the inactivity NOT our viewing or internet habits.I LOVE to websurf but also exercise everyday. Why not have the best of both worlds.

carden123 by carden123 | Huntsville, AL
Jan 28, 2011

We need to take breaks from all the electronics this day an time and enjoy family.. Read more and enjoy the outdoors more often..

randyp by randyp | MATAWAN, NJ
Jan 27, 2011

To increase the benefits of your workout, turn off the television and put on some music! You expend more calories when you exercise to music!

shelly_noble24 by shelly_noble24 | SULLIVAN, MO
Jan 22, 2011

i am not to sure about this study.i think the people who exercise more wouldnt be at such a great health risk as those who dont and are inactive more.

RissaG by RissaG | MARIETTA, GA
Jan 21, 2011

I agree. Inactivity is the cause. I think that when this type of research is done they need to elaborate more.

smoaksmom by smoaksmom | West Columbia, SC
Jan 19, 2011

A bit misleading. TV, computers, etc are NOT the cause. Inactivity is. However, people probably have a hard time realizing how very inactive they are. What if we made it the new trend to use your laptop at a podium? Perhaps that could be the new way of doing things at work? Keeping people on their feet. Then we would have lots of reviews for good shoes!!

justwriting by justwriting | Pleasanton, CA
Jan 14, 2011

That sucks for me since my job requires I sit and work in front of a computer all day.

kcrowe2 by kcrowe2 | Jackson, TN
Jan 13, 2011

This is something I definitely didn't no, but I do agree that exercising while watching tv could help quite a bit. Interesting blog though!

MadHatter by MadHatter | Whitestone , NY
Jan 13, 2011

well....if you have a work out machine in front of a TV then that is a different story. I have an elliptical in front of my TV and I watch one episode of a TV series while I work out. It's the only way I time myself and make sure I get the best of my work out is by watching one episode from beginning to end. Heck, that is around 40-45 minutes of work out and I didn't even have to keep looking at the time!

msfriendly by msfriendly | MONROE, WI
Jan 12, 2011

Wow...this is a wake up call for all of us, isn't it!

nursegirl09 by nursegirl09 | GOSHEN, IN
Jan 12, 2011

Um, that's a bit scary. There are times when I spend 4 hours a day surfing the web or watching TV. And I would imagine this could be extrapolated to kids who have four or more hours of screen time per day, too. I'm going to have to be careful about this.