Few inventions have impacted our lives as much as the television since it became popular in the 1950s and ‘60s. Today, nearly every household in America has one or more televisions in the home. Watching TV has become a favorite pastime for people all over the world. In fact, we spend more time watching TV than we spend on any other activity except sleeping and working.
According to a recent study by the University of Queensland, Australia, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, all of the sedentary time we spend glued to the television is taking a toll on our health. The study claims that every hour spent watching TV after the age of 25 may shorten a person’s life expectancy by approximately 22 minutes. So if the average person watches six hours of television per day, this equates to shortened lifespan of five years.
Experts caution that watching television may even be as detrimental to your health as obesity or smoking. Researchers surmise that an hour watching TV is equivalent health-wise to smoking two cigarettes.
Plus, the time spent lounging in front of the television robs you of time that could be spent participating in healthier activities like walking the dog, taking a Zumba class, or playing with your kids.
There’s no doubt that we live in a technological age, and it is changing the way we live. Just look at all the things we can accomplish with the simple push of a button—like washing and drying our clothes, making coffee, and cooking, just to name a few. Even watching TV has become easier with the invention of the remote control channel changer.
The cumulative effect of all the time-saving, modern-day conveniences we enjoy in our daily lives is that less and less physical exertion is required for us to get things done, and the more inactive we have become. And, an inactive body is an unhealthy body. Countless studies have proven that a sedentary lifestyle is a known risk factor for developing illness and disease.
Armed with this new insight, health conscious people have another choice to make that’s in line with their other healthy choices like not smoking, not drinking too much alcohol, eating a nutritious diet, and getting plenty of exercise. Reducing the time you and your family spend watching TV and replacing it with healthier activities could make a real the difference in the quality and length of your life and the lives of your loved ones. So turn off the TV and get moving!