Study: Too much TV and your health [POLL/AUDIO]
If you enjoy sitting around and watching television for hours at a time, your life could be in danger.
A new study finds people who watch TV for three hours a day are twice as likely to die in the next few years as people who watch only a little TV, or none at all.
Researchers at the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain conducted the study over an eight-year period and found sitting and watching television for long periods of time was more hazardous than sitting in a car or in front of your computer for the same period of time.
Dr. Shawn Arent, the director of the Human Performance Laboratory at Rutgers university, believes the study clearly points to the fact that we’re sitting around too much.
“It’s not so much that watching TV is dangerous to your health,” he said, “but rather it’s the sitting there doing nothing but watching that’s the problem.”
He also said when you sit around watching TV for long stretches of time, you’re probably engaging in other unhealthy behavior as well.
“One of the things we know with that sedentary down time is also that people tend to eat more, because of the commercials that are on that advertise high fat, high carbohydrate food,” Arent said.
Arent added “we were designed to move, when you look at us from a genetic standpoint, there’s over 20 genes that are turned on and off with physical activity, some related to cardiovascular health and even psychological issues, depression, anxiety, stress-related disorders. You really can’t overstate how important movement is to human beings.”
He said in some ways, technology helps us so much, but in other ways it’s literally killing us because we’ve taken out the need to do physical things.
“We literally were built to be active, and not just sit around – that genetic part of us hasn’t been partitioned out,” he said. “It hasn’t changed.”
Arent said if people can find some kind of a physical activity that they enjoy and that motivates them, that’s important.
He also said recent studies show “the harder you exercise, the less of it you need to do.”
At the end of the day he said the most important message to remember is “get off your butt and move.”