Added by Annika L. Krugel on June 17, 2011
Even just a couple of hours in front of the television every day could shorten your life, new research claims.
An international summary of various studies into the health effects of watching television has revealed that every two hours spent in front of the TV increases the risk of premature death by as much as 15 percent.
The research summary,published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, also revealed that TV watching increases Type II diabetes by 20 percent, and the risk of heart disease by 15 percent.
One of the studies included in the analysis was performed last year at Australian Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne. Professor David Dunstan, who participated in this study, said that watching TV is the most common daily activity after working and sleeping.
Professor Dunstan also said that TV brings a “double whammy” of negative health effects. People watching TV part-take in whats called sedentary behaviour, meaning they do not move their limbs, and Professor Dunstan said that this is simply not the opposite of exercising.
The problem is that when sitting, there is not a lot of muscle contraction happening. These contractions are what assist the body in absorbing glucose and using it for energy.
The double whammy effect comes from the poor diet that is often associated with watching television.
“Modern technology has essentially engineered activity out of our daily lives… Individuals need to make a conscious choice to be more active in their viewing using ad breaks to move around,” Professor Dunstan said.