Your TV is killing you

man watching baseball on tvYour best friend has had it in for you for years. I know, it’s hard to believe that your friend could take advantage of your trust like this, but it’s the truth.

Your TV is trying to kill you.

A couple studies were done in Australia earlier this year to help quantify the effects of channel-surfing on your life expectancy.

Every single hour of television watched after the age of 25 reduces the viewer’s life expectancy by 21.8 minutes.

How’s that for jaw-dropping, never-before-seen excitement? Even though I’m a huge hater of sitting, I didn’t think the results would be this shocking. It’s like killing Dr. Gray off of Gray’s Anatomy! Or if Gilligan had been written off Gilligan’s Island.

Looking more broadly, they concluded that an adult who spends an average of six hours a day watching TV over the course of a lifetime can expect to live 4.8 years fewer than a person who does not watch TV.

So what’s the solution? It sounds easier than it actually is. Stand up and move around more. This could mean introducing some functional inconveniences.
For example, you could hide your remote control or leave it somewhere out of reach. Every time you need to change the channel, lower the volume, or turn the TV on or off, you’ll have to get up to do it. If you have a very well organized desk where everything is within reach, you may want to put things just a little further out of reach, requiring yourself to move just a little more than you normally would.
These functional inconveniences may be inconvenient, but the facts are sitting in front of your face:

The researchers then cross-referenced sitting time with health outcomes, and found that those people with the “highest sedentary behavior,” meaning those who sat the most, had a 112 percent increase in their relative risk of developing diabetes; a 147 percent increase in their risk for cardiovascular disease; and a 49 percent greater risk of dying prematurely — even if they regularly exercised.

 If you don’t make the effort to move more, you’re making an effort toward not moving at all.

About the Author

Matt Hsu is a trainer and orthopedic massage therapist. He fought a long battle with chronic pain all over his body and won. He blends the principles he learned in his journey, empirical observations with clients, and relevant research to help others get their lives back.