If you need one more reason to curb your TV viewing time
, here's the best one yet: latest research shows your very life could depend on it.
The study was conducted at the University of Queensland in Australia and tracked data from 11,000 Australian volunteers older than the age of 25. Results showed that for this age group, every hour of television viewed could shorten the average human lifespan by 22 minutes. According to researchers, it appears there is a direct correlation between how much time you spend in front of your flat screen and how long you'll live.
Let's say you watch four hours of television a day. Do the math and you'll see that live about 3.5 years less than someone who spends their time doing other things. When you think about it, the numbers are rather frightening. Death by television?
But is it the TV that is actually killing us? Well . . . not exactly. More than likely, the shortened lifespan is due to unhealthy eating habits and the sedentary lifestyle
associated with couch potatoes. Anyone who spends four hours a day moving around and eating healthy is bound to have a longer lifespan than someone who spends their time in the recliner watching reality shows and crime dramas.
There is also data that shows it's not just too little exercise that goes hand-in-hand with TV watching. People who sit in front of the computer or at a desk all day, even if they make time to exercise quite a bit, also have higher rates of death. Simply sitting could be dangerous to your health
!Do you have to give up TV completely?
Relax. If you enjoy Monday night football or an occasional sitcom–even the history channel and science documentaries– it's possible to watch your favorite programs guilt-free. Dr. Matthew Edlund, M.D., makes the following suggestions for making television viewing more active:Watch standing up.
Get out of the recliner and stand or walk around a little. Standing alone can burn up to 25-50% more calories than sitting.Invite friends over.
Watching television with your friends and family often means you can move around more easily as you socialize, joke, and discuss. Exercise.
One of the great things about using a treadmill, elliptical, or exercise bike is that you can get your heart pumping while watching television. Now that's multi-tasking at its best!Don't snack while watching.
As tempting it is to sit down with a bowl of popcorn to watch the game or movie of the week, mindless snacking leads to obesity. Also, instead of soda or sugary juices (or beer), select water as your beverage of choice.
The bottom line is that your television doesn't have to be hazardous to your health. However, there is overwhelming evidence that sitting is. So the next time you're watching Dancing with the Stars, do yourself a favor: get up and shake what your mama gave you. You could very well add years to your life in the process.