Every hour spent watching television could shorten your life by 22 minutes, making TV viewing as dangerous as smoking or obesity
We all know that spending hours in front of the television isn’t healthy, but who knew that it could actually take years off your life?
A new study has shown that anyone who spends six hours a day in front of the television is at risk of dying five years earlier than those who regularly do gentle exercise.
‘Watching too much TV is as dangerous as smoking or being overweight, and the ubiquitous sedentary behaviour should be seen as a public health problem,’ say experts.
Television and the dangers to our health have been a long running discussion amongst health campaigners and parents alike, who have often called on the government to be more active in getting the public away from the box and on to their feet. This is the first time that researchers have calculated television effects on life expectancy.
Researchers at the University of Queensland found that every hour of watching television shortened a viewer’s life expectancy by approximately 22 minutes.
Maureen Talbot, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation says: ‘Many of us make a conscious decision not to smoke because we know it’s bad for us, and this study suggests that more of us should make the same kind of pledge about lounging around and watching lots of TV.’
And the study didn’t just prove to have negative outcomes for the general public’s health – It also included bad news for advertisers. It seems that when we do finally manage to drag ourselves from the sofa and the television screen, it is usually during the commercial breaks.