A new research has shown an increased negative health effects of TV time. Luckily, health experts say there’s one thing you can carry out to make your viewing habits healthier.
Today our love for TV is growing continuously; statistics make the fact more clear. In 2014, the average American watched five hours of TV a day, according to Nielsen data. And over a 115 million U.S. households had at least one TV — up 1.2 percent from 2013. But this love is apparently killing us. According to research sitting down and watching TV causes many problems, such as: raises diabetes risk and shortens life expectancy. A recent study by University of Pittsburgh warns that each hour of TV we watch daily increases our risk of developing diabetes by 3.4 percent.
Researchers studied data from 3,234 overweight U.S. adults who had taken part in the 2002 Diabetes Prevention Program study, and found that those who watched TV less, oftentimes also ended up sitting less during their workday, and in due course reduced their risk of developing diabetes compared to their counterparts who watched more TV. While the risk of developing diabetes is higher in these study participants, lead researcher Bonny Rockette-Wagner, PhD, states the data nevertheless applies to the rest of us. “In general, I would suggest that people not get too caught up in the specific numbers and stick with the take home message that, in addition to setting goals for improvement in activity and diet, people should become more aware of how much time they spend sitting,” she tells Yahoo Health. “It’s all about healthy balance.”
Furthermore, there are all kinds of other drawbacks of Watching TV. A 2011 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine discovered that every hour of TV watched by the study’s 11,000 participants shortened life expectancy by 22 minutes. A second study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found that prolonged TV viewing (more than 2 hours a day) was linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death. The negative effects of TV watching were also seen in children—-a study published at the start of year 2015 found that children who spent more than two hours a day in front of a TV had a 30 percent greater chance of developing high blood pressure. The risk increased to 50 percent for those who had less than an hour of physical activity a day as well.
Now let’s check why Watching TV is bad for our health. “If you watch TV for long periods of time, you’re going to gain weight,” Maria T. Vivaldi, MD, an assistant physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, tells Yahoo Health. “That’s going to translate to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.” Vivaldi says if you’re lucky that you didn’t gain weight even after watching TV for extended periods, no need to feel happy about it. You’re still at a greater risk of developing heart problems. “Inactivity is responsible for 12.2 percent of the global burden of heart attacks,” she says.
The findings sound scary, nonetheless, Vivaldi doesn’t think people need to ditch TV altogether — they just need to be smart about the way in which they watch it. Her advice: “If you like a good show, get on the treadmill and watch it. Don’t watch your show unless you’re on the treadmill.”