SHESPEAKS Your Power to Influence

Why Turning Off The TV Could Save Your Life

SS Member Image By drodriguez 01.11.11
Why Turning Off The TV Could Save Your Life
Share Tweet

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

Comment  *
  • nursegirl09 By nursegirl09

    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.

  • msfriendly By msfriendly

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

  • MadHatter By MadHatter

    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!

  • kcrowe2 By kcrowe2

    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!

  • justwriting By justwriting

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

  • smoaksmom By smoaksmom

    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!!

  • RissaG By RissaG

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

  • shelly_noble24 By shelly_noble24

    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.

  • randyp By randyp

    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!

  • carden123 By carden123

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

More stories like this