Is Your Television Killing You?

I don't imagine anyone kidded themselves that sitting in front of the TV for hours was good for their health, but it's not always easy to quantify the effects. However, Australian and French scientists have come up with some figures, and they don't look pleasant for couch potatoes.

Picture by lexrex

Leigh Dayton at the Australian reports that the study found that people who watch television more than four hours a day have a 46% higher chance of dying prematurely. Nick at Gizmodo makes the point that you're going to die anyway, which is fair enough — and if TV is a useful form of stress relief for you, that might offset the other risk might be worth it. Also, watching French television is a pretty dangerous prospect at any time.

That said, the potential solution is ridiculously simple: stand up more often, as researcher Dr David Dunstan told the paper:

Too much sitting is bad for your health. Stand up. The more you move, the greater the health benefits.

Too much TV leads to an early grave [The Australian via Gizmodo]


    "Nick at Gizmodo makes the point that you’re going to die anyway"
    You know, I hate this sort of comment people always use.
    "Meh, why give up smoking? Im going to die anyway."

    Yes, you are going to die. Everyone does.
    But why live a shit life just because youre going to die?
    How many regrets will you have on your death bed?

      The question is whether giving up something you enjoy would make your life shit or not.

        Short term: "Man, I missed my favourite TV show."
        Long term: "Man, I wasted my life."

      I think the point is that everyone gets to make their own cost-benefit analysis of how to spend their time, on the basis of their own preferences and values. Spending your time doing things that merely maximize the amount of time you have left however is inherently pointless, which is the intuition behind the "you're going to die anyway" comment.

      For most people, being entertained for a few hours a day (even with an expected decrease in life expectancy) is judged by them to be a net benefit. You get to call their lives wasted if you like, but they have the corollary right to ignore you.

      fatalism is the rule! without it, who would want tv or any other consumer media, for example 'do it yourself another person's way' memesites?!

      giving health tips to tech zombies is hilarious.

    "Too much sitting is bad for your health. Stand up. The more you move, the greater the health benefits."

    So is it sitting or watching TV thats the cause? If thats the case, people who read or sit on their computer for the same length of time are also at risk

    I absolutely am in love with my TV and think my plasma may just go to my grave with me so I can watch it in heaven. I love it that much! LOL

    I watched a documentary that showed that people move more in their sleep than they do watching tv!
    It really does put us into a catatonic state.

    However, like everything - it's moderation. I'm not about to throw away my telly, but I will keep an eye on how much I'm watching.

    Well if he say's sitting is bad for you what about when you sit at a desk for around 8 hours a day apart from lunch of course !!! maybe people could start to sue their workplaces for killing them slowly or who knows in a few years maybe we will all have to stand and work.

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