Is watching TV taking years away from your life?

October 4, 2014

When I was a kid, I used to watch about 2-3 hours of TV everyday. I knew it was bad because when I finished watching TV, I always felt worse and more sick than when I began watching. It’s like eating potato chips. It doesn’t matter how much you eat, you just don’t feel full. So not only was I wasting my life, I didn’t even feel better after watching TV. It turns out that new research shows that watching TV takes years away from your life.

According to new research by the University of Queensland, Australia, "TV viewing time may have adverse health consequences that rival obesity and smoking; every single hour of TV viewed may shorten life by as much as 22 minutes. This means that for someone watching six hours of TV a day, they can expect to live 5 years less than someone who does not watch TV." Not only that, according to the study conducted by a group of international researchers, anyone who devotes more than four hours daily on screen-based entertainment such as TV, video games or surfing the web, ups their risk of heart attack and stroke by 113% and the risk of death by any cause by nearly 50% compared to those who spend less than two hours daily in screen play. In research by the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), "researchers suggest that spending just two hours a day in front of the TV raises your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease by 20 percent."
"Through TV, people turn their family living rooms into meditative dens of death and violence worship."
― Bryant McGill, Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life
This new research blew my minds. Not only was I losing 22 minutes of my life for every hour of TV I watched, but the damages of watching TV were just as bad as smoking?

Now, you’re probably asking, how do I go about reducing my time watching the TV? Well, it turns out that just removing the TV from your room decreases your viewing time by 9 hours per week. This small change will increase your life by a year. One full year. For our parents, it's important to talk to our kids about the effects of watching TV. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that kids under 2 years old not watch any TV and that those older than 2 watch no more than 1 to 2 hours a day of quality programming.

Instead of watching TV, we can spend our lives doing activities that make us excited to live. Activities such as learning the violin or exercising. These little changes will make our lives 10 times better.