Does TV damage our health?
Many of us consider an evening in front of the TV as quality relaxation time, but is it affecting our health? And what should we be watching?
Ever since the television made its debut at the World’s Fair in 1939 it has become a mainstay in the majority of households around the world. Our TVs are now our source of news and entertainment, and life without them would be odd to say the least.
The question is – does watching TV damage our health? There have been countless studies on this subject with some conflicting results. One study has said that for every hour of TV we watch, our life expectancy decreases by 22 minutes. This dramatic conclusion has most likely been met because watching TV tends to be part of a relatively unhealthy lifestyle involving poor eating habits and insufficient physical activity.
Another study revealed that children who watch a lot of TV are more likely to eat junk food and less likely to eat fruit, while another study discovered that those who watch little to no TV are happier than those who watch a lot.
In contrast to this, other studies have revealed that educational programmes can help children perform better academically than those who watch other kinds of TV shows. Watching our favourite show has even been shown to boost brainpower and increase our knowledge of political issues.
Ultimately no one is saying that watching TV will damage your health, the problems seem to lie in what we do when we watch TV and what we’re watching. Sitting in a stagnant position for hours on end watching a violent horror film and eating junk food isn’t likely to do our health any favours.
To make the most of your TV time try watching a programme that teaches you something (like a cooking show or a historical documentary), avoid mindless snacking and use every advert break as a reminder to get up and move around.
View and comment on the original Greatist article.
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