Is television killing you?

television - stop watching - start living
United States
August 24, 2011 8:33pm CST
Apparently it is, says an Australian research study; http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/1jokVU/news.yahoo.com/too-much-tv-may-years-off-life-231005195.html "For every hour of television watched after age 25, lifespan fell by 22 minutes." I'm curious why they would jump to that conclusion. It's probably not the television but lack of exercise - so if you're on the treadmill or lifting weights, would they find the same conclusion? They also mention "mindless eating" which is another good point, so again, what about those of us who don't eat in front of the television? I assume their findings would not be accurate to us either. The theories continue to why there may be a strong association with television watching and a shorter lifespan - read if you're curious! What do you think about the study? Could there have been some bias in it? Any thoughts appreciated! :)
2 people like this
11 responses
@peavey (16341)
• United States
25 Aug 11
Well, television isn't killing me because I don't watch it except maybe a half dozen times a year, so I'm probably biased. But... while TV is usually done sitting down so one doesn't get much exercise, that may not be the only problem with it. So many commercials present food that one can almost smell and taste, and even if you don't get up and get that particular food, it makes you "hungry" for a snack of some sort. It also presents commercials for so many medicines that we all begin to think that we're sick with something or other. Our bodies behave the way our minds tell them to... enough said.
2 people like this
@GardenGerty (96819)
• Marion, Kansas
25 Aug 11
I had thought of the commercialization of food many times, and you add to that all the wonderful cooking shows and it is enough to make you want to eat. I had not thought through the context of medical commercials. I mean, I have thought about it to some degree, because I can just picture people demanding one treatment or another that they have seen on television.
@peavey (16341)
• United States
25 Aug 11
I read a study somewhere that people actually do demand treatment because of TV commercials. They're not satisfied to let the doctor diagnose them because they "know" what is wrong. I wonder if we're not all a little hypochondriac at heart.
@Awinds (2475)
• United States
25 Aug 11
Just how do they know this for sure? Did they wait fifty or sixty years for every subject and keep track of every minute of the subjects' lifespan? The conclusions is kind of ridiculous considering how many variables they left open! I do think television rots the brain but this steady doesn't do so good supporting that.
1 person likes this
@Triple0 (1907)
• Australia
25 Aug 11
That's right! Some things cannot be trusted without. Some studies leave out details like who they surveyed, who was involved and how they study was conducted. They could have just got random people out of the blue and chucked some statistics on some piece of paper. You never know.
1 person likes this
@Awinds (2475)
• United States
25 Aug 11
That's very true! Unfortunately not every study is created equally!
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Aug 11
You ask good questions, Awinds! They didn't seem to talk much of their "research" to show how they came to the conclusions they did. I mean, 22 minutes must have some significance, right? But how did they determine that specific amount of time, and not just generalize and say 20-30 minutes. Also, does the quality of television matter? (reality TV versus an educational program). They specifically mention 25 years and older, so what happens with the younger children? I'd think television would be worse for their developing brains more so than for adults. I doubt this study has any sort of a solid foundation. Too many variables to support anything they are claiming. Thanks for the reply Awinds and Triple0!
@GardenGerty (96819)
• Marion, Kansas
25 Aug 11
It is not healthy to be too sedentary, but the same can happen if you are an avid reader or you are on the computer for too long. It is up to us to take control of those circumstances. as you said, we can still get moving while watching television, and we can take breaks from books and computers to move our bodies and get things done. If we snack it should be in limited portions and it should be healthy foods. I would like a peek to see who is funding that study.It might show where that bias comes from.
• United States
25 Aug 11
I was actually thinking about that after I posted the discussion. Rarely do I see readers being physically active at the same time (maybe on a stationary bike?), so they could possibly come to the same conclusion. Not fully though, because reading is like exercise for the brain. I wouldn't say television could be called the same. I'm really curious who funded the study. It seems like kind of a "duh" thing that television itself is not healthy but the fact that most people sit during it makes it worse. But how did they decide that one hour of TV = 22 minutes of life? Thanks for the reply!
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (96819)
• Marion, Kansas
25 Aug 11
I can read on a stationary bike, especially one that is slightly recumbent. I cannot read on a treadmill, step machine or elliptical. All of them have magazine racks or book racks on them.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Aug 11
Exactly! I could easily read on my stationary bike but there's nothing to help me read while walking, it's just not something I have mastered! lol
25 Aug 11
Yes it is correct to say that "for every hour of television watched after the age of 25 life span fell by 22 minutes" What I want to say is for every hour of television watched we are losing / wasting one hour. Nothing is gained by watching the television. Tine, energy and manpower are wasted enormously by watching the television. Evenhough the younger generation is wise the television is making them fools. O.K. what is ordained is going to happen.
• United States
1 Sep 11
I love your comment about the younger generation! I do feel like [reality] television is making them more materialist and narcissistic. It's instant gratification without worry of the consequences. Although I do agree slightly that television does not have much benefit, I do think it can be a stress reliever; something to relax and enjoy. It still amazes me the amount of money actors are paid when television and movies have no "greater good" quality. But what can we do? The reality of the world is that people seem to appreciate more of fantasy (scripts, characters, scenes) than reality (nature, whole foods). Hmm, I may have gotten off-topic there.... Thanks for the reply!
• Philippines
25 Aug 11
too much of everything is bad so we have to limit watching tv and not be very sedentary lifestyle. we have to exercise too and do other things.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Aug 11
So true! Even beautiful things (like exercise) needs to be limited to a healthy amount. Too much or too little can be a problem and prevent you from living a long, healthy life. Thanks for the reply, sweetmary86!
@crisce (25)
• China
25 Aug 11
yes,tv now has become an very improtane part in my life. I love computer but after work I will never touch it at home and also now I have no PC in my house.So in the free time I just stay at home,cooking or do housework. I will watch the tv shows for a whole day if I feel tired on the weekend. It really makes me eat a lot when I am sitting in front of the TV and make me have no time wo do sports.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Sep 11
I think television is part of a lot of people's every day life, but it's still important to get up and move and not just sit in front of the television to insure we live the longest and healthiest life we can. I enjoy cooking as well, though housework is important, it's not too fun! It can be good exercise though! I make a point never to eat in front of the television. It's incredibly easy to overeat in that situation. Thanks for the reply!
25 Aug 11
hi:) I think what they want to say is living a sedentary life is dangerous, but if we do exercise and not being a couch potato all the time, then watching TV is alright.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Aug 11
What you just wrote is a GREAT conclusion to their pointless study! What the study seems to emphasize is that an hour of television takes 22 minutes off one's life. But, as you said, a sedentary life is the problem, not the television itself! Thanks for the reply, flowerfest08!
@HeartROB (434)
• Philippines
25 Aug 11
I also believe that lifespan of people who watched too much television at the age of 25 will decrease because of their POTATOE COUCH LIFESTYLE not because of watching television. Television may not be the real deal cause, i think it is more better to say that watching television may be a contributing factor that will lead to a sedentary lifestyle of people that may cause the decrease of lifespan. That's what i think though. Thanks for sharing my friend.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Sep 11
You are so right! It's the sedentary lifestyle that reduces ones lifespan, not the act of watching television itself. Thanks for the reply!
• India
25 Aug 11
The result of the research study is very funny. What about those people who are not watching television and that expand their lifespan. Basically a lifespan is related to the cell reproduction period, If I am working out in the gym in morning and watching tv for the rest of the day that won't impact my body because I have already given work to the tissues and cells in my body.
• United States
1 Sep 11
You make an excellence point! As long as you take good care of your body and exercise at some point during the day/week, then watching television will not reduce your lifespan. In fact, I've heard how watching comedies actually improve your health because when you laugh, you release serotonin. Clearly the study was flawed! Thanks for the reply, macedon88! I love your avatar, by the way. It's fierce!
@chiyosan (29383)
• Philippines
25 Aug 11
i think its overall - when you do not move, when you just stay in your seat at work all the time and not walk around, when you just sit in the couch watching movies or talk shows, and when you spend hours in the internet or facebook.. then that would definitely cause an alarm in your overall health.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Aug 11
Exactly! It's the inactivity; the hour of sitting in the same stop that may take 22 minutes off our life, not television itself! The study should really have done a better job at explaining those results, rather than blaming it solely on television. Thanks for the reply, chiyosan!
@salonga (27994)
• Philippines
8 Sep 11
TV destroys our eyes - TV watching
It is not actually the television that could kill but overindulgence on it so that one forgets just about other things beneficial to him like exercising. Many people also eats lots of junks while eating TV while others watch so close to the TV so this destroy their eyes. Anything in excess is bad and this goes true to any kind of activity not just TV viewing.