The time spent in front of ‘the tube’ is more dangerous than believed, and too much TV might actually kill you even if you exercise, so there’s apparently no true escape.
- The study was conducted on over 221,000 participants, between 50-71 years old
- 92% of Americans own a TV set, and 80% of adults spent 3.5 hours of watching TV per day
- By watching 3-4 hours of television per day, health risks increase by 15%
- By watching 7 or more hours of TV daily, the risks jump to 47%
Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have conducted an extensive study on over 221,000 participants, between the ages of 50 and 71 years old. The participants were inquired on their habits and health, particularly the time spent watching television. Reportedly, 92% of people in the United States own a TV set. It has been determined as the most frequent way to spent their leisure time.
This is even more common among older adults, according to Dr. Sarah Keadle from NCI. Considering the U.S. is mostly considered a nation that is slowly aging, it should be carefully examined just how healthy that particular habit is. Apparently, prolonged time spent watching TV increases the risk of developing 8 of the country’s leads in deaths.
According to the team of researchers, all participants were healthy at the beginning of the study. However, with time, they were able to eliminate all other health factors, such as smoking, drinking, and caloric intake, to zero-in on the issue of watching television. The risk for eight conditions was reportedly increased simply by sitting.
The study found that by watching 3-4 hours of TV per day, there is a 15% increased chance of developing one of the deadly diseases in comparison to watching 1 hour or less. For the participants who watched 7 or more hours of television daily, the risk jumped to 47%. These findings are especially worrying since 80% of Americans watch an average of 3.5 hours per day.
This included enhanced risk of developing heart problems, cancer, diabetes, pneumonia, Parkinson’s disease, and liver disease.
Dr. Keadle claimed that it was already known that TV watching was the most common sedentary activity. However, it also seems that it cannot truly be countered by exercise. Their results showed that the effects are the same whether the person is active or not. While that might be good news for the older generation, who have more limited abilities to stay physical active, it’s not soothing to find out for the younger adults.
Whether you exercise or not, spending more than 3 hours in front of the TV will arrive with the same health risks. Of course, as stated by Dr. Keadle, exercise would be the “first choice” to replace that inactive time. However, perhaps the better solution would be to limit the sedentary activity instead.
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