Too much TV may shorten your life

Watching too much television could shorten your life, a study suggests. Research carried out in Australia and published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine showed that every hour of TV watched after the age of 25 may shorten your life-span by 22 minutes.

According to one of the report’s authors, Dr Lennert Veerman, from the School of Population Health at the University of Queensland, it puts long hours spent in front of the box “in the same ballpark as smoking and obesity”.

“While smoking rates are declining, watching TV is not, which has implications at a population level,” he said.

Last year, another Australian study found an hour of TV a day led to an 8% increase in the risk of premature death.

“We’ve taken that study and translated it into what it means for life expectancy in Australia, given how much TV we watch,” said Veerman.

Australians watch about two hours of TV a day. As a result, their life expectancy at birth is reduced by 1.8 years for men and 1.5 years for women, according to the study. Britons watch more than three hours of TV a day, according to the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board.

Too much sitting, as distinct from too little exercise, is associated with higher mortality risk, particularly from cardiovascular disease.

“Logically we know that physical activity is good for health and so it’s not so strange that the reverse is not so good,” said Veerman.

The report was based on an observational survey conducted in 1999-2000 with more than 11 000 participants aged 25 and over. Participants reported the amount of time they spent watching TV or videos in the previous week, when it was their main activity; in other words, they were not doing the cooking or the ironing at the same time.

The report also showed that a person who watches an average of six hours of TV a day would live on average 4.8 years less than someone who watches none. —

Keep the powerful accountable

Subscribe for R30/mth for the first three months. Cancel anytime.

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Eight dead in Africa Cup of Nations Cameroon stadium crush

Cameroonian President Paul Biya ordered an investigation into the tragedy that occurred on Monday as crowds attempted to enter the Olembe Stadium in the capital Yaounde to watch the host nation play the Comoros

Trends that will revolutionise the retail sector in 2022

From social selling and greenwashing to downtrading, analysts outline 2022 trends for the retail sector

Andile Zulu: Sisulu obfuscates the true nature of power in...

Power in post-apartheid South Africa lies with the party, the state and capital. The tourism minister masks her complicity with bad governance, and being part of the economic and political elite.

Malawi’s flame ignited at Afcon

From being underwhelming underdogs going into the tournament to reaching the round of 16, the Flames have shown discipline, flair and dedication, to the utter delight of their fans.
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×