Every Hour Of TV Watching Shortens Life By 22 Minutes

Every Hour Of TV Watching Shortens Life By 22 Minutes

Every hour spent watching television shortens the viewer’s life by 22 minutes, academics warn.

Researchers say that watching too much TV is as dangerous as smoking or being overweight Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Anyone who spends six hours a day in front of the box is at risk of dying five years sooner than those who enjoy more active pastimes, it is claimed.

Researchers say that watching too much TV is as dangerous as smoking or being overweight, and that the “ubiquitous sedentary behaviour” should be seen as a “public health problem”.

Experts from the University of Queensland, Australia, write: “TV viewing time may have adverse health consequences that rival those of lack of physical activity, obesity and smoking; every single hour of TV viewed may shorten life by as much as 22 minutes.”

Referring to Australian and American guidelines that suggest children should spend no more than two hours a day in front of a screen, the academics conclude: “With further corroborative evidence, a public health case could be made that adults also need to limit the time spent watching TV.”

Although health campaigners – and parents – have long warned of the dangers of watching too much television, its effects on life expectancy have never before been calculated.

In a paper published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, Dr J Lennert Veerman and colleagues looked at the results of a survey of 11,247 Australians taken in 1999-2000, which asked about time spent watching TV, and also mortality figures for the country.

They constructed a model in which they compared life expectancy for adults who watch TV to those who did not, and worked out that every hour spent glued to the screen shortened life by 21.8 minutes.

For those in the top 1 per cent of the population who watch six hours of programmes a day, they “can expect to live 4.8 years less than a person who does not watch TV”.

The researchers say that watching TV is among the most common forms of sedentary behaviour, along with sitting in cars.

“Because TV viewing is a ubiquitous behaviour that occupies significant portions of adults’ leisure time, its effects are significant for overall population health.”

England’s Chief Medical Officer, Sally Davies, said: “Physical activity offers huge benefits and these studies back what we already know – that doing a little bit of physical activity each day brings health benefits and a sedentary lifestyle carries additional risks.

“That’s why the UK’s Chief Medical Officers recently updated their advice on physical activity to be more flexible, right from babyhood to adult life.

“Adults, for example, can get their 150 minutes of activity a week in sessions of 10 minutes or more and for the first time we have provided guidelines on reducing sedentary time.

“We hope these studies will help more people realise that there are many ways to get exercise – activities like walking at a good pace or digging the garden over can count too.”

Maureen Talbot, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Sedentary behaviour such as vegging in front of the TV is practically a cultural institution these days and it’s good to relax for a while, but this study supports the view that too much of it can be bad for our health.

“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.

“Introducing more activity to our daily lives, whether it’s walking to the shops instead of taking the bus, using the stairs instead of the lift or taking up active hobbies like sport or gardening mean we won’t spend as much time in front of the TV where we’re likely to pile on the pounds.”


21 Responses to "Every Hour Of TV Watching Shortens Life By 22 Minutes"

  1. ALVA   September 30, 2012 at 7:08 am

    B it as u imagine that fyv years earlier is only in terms of that persosnz deeds and not in actuality…

  2. king julian   September 30, 2012 at 7:58 am

    That’s very sad news coz am addicted to watching tv

  3. kakolwe   September 30, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Then I died 2years, 3months, 1week, 4days, 2hours. 12minutes and 6seconds ago. All because of Tv & cinema + BASKOPO all those years ago.

  4. Kakoswe   September 30, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    RIP Kakolwe my friend

  5. Genaro the Analyst   September 30, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    the deaths are caused indirect due to the conditions one expriences within each activity,tho those activitly involved in out door activies are more immune to disease attack,still does not justify an increase or reduction in years. We ve seen musclemen die,ntawi ika fika kulibe ati ndine pwe or pwah na kwa chabe kwapwa. Analyse

  6. tuntatunta   September 30, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    ubufi ubwafita fifiti

  7. bill gates will die soon   September 30, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    elo lwanya

  8. help me   September 30, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    could someone please direct me to a shop where i can buy a nice ladies parfum in the range of 200pin

  9. The Terminator   October 1, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Ntamba fye ba United capwa ine.

  10. Chama Febie   October 1, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Iyi ndiye boza lazoona

  11. mukombe   October 1, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    What about ubwali by how many minutes.

  12. hilda   October 1, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Am worried, what about us who use computers at work how badly are we affected since this is a similar situation.

  13. judy   October 1, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    then most of us Zambians in urban areas will finish, good for those in villages. Help us God

  14. Voltron   October 1, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    no problem coz death nower days is not taken as difcot as in past. moreover is the fasterst way of going to God.i like it.

  15. Mwashi   October 1, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    @ Hilda, good question..let the experts explain ths to us in simple terms.

  16. REAL MAN   October 1, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    at the rate I watch TV, I should have died 10 years ago! bane 22 minutes per hour is a hell of a lot of time (years!. this is rubbish!

  17. MZ   October 1, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    I feel for the security guards always monitoring civilians on CCTV. Their lives are at risk…

  18. Barbed Wire   October 2, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Aya ni malabishi.

  19. mwila   October 2, 2012 at 9:06 am

    mwaba no mwenso wakubwelela kwiloba.tata

  20. ADMINISTRATOR.   October 2, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    this is very truee…..

  21. kwiloba   October 2, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    fyabo ifyo!!!