Turn Off The TV

“Turn off the TV.  It’s time to do your homework.”

“Sitting that close to the TV will make your eyes go bad.”

“Watching too much TV will lead to memory loss.”

Yup, I have heard it all from my parents when I attempted to dodge doing homework.  Fortunately, the whole satellite, 200+ channel line-up, didn’t exist back then.

Little did I know that watching TV can have some seriously side effects.  With a few clicks from my keyboard I found out that since 2000:

·         Some 18,000 people have been injured each year from TV’s taking a tumble

·         Approximately three children an hour have been injured due to TV’s tipping

·         Nearly 20% of all TV injuries occur due to people simply deciding to kick their television sets

With the likelihood of the above being remote, I did find out that TV viewing can have some major health risks including an increased chance for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s and suicide.  Medical News Today recently detailed that those whom watch seven or more hours of TV a day (You know…binge-watching TV series on Netflix) have a 47% more likely chance of dying due to one of these conditions,  compared to those whom watch less than one hour a day.  Today, nearly 80% of Americans watch TV 3-4 hours per day and at this rate the 47% possibility of these conditions is reduced to 15%. 

Although many of the details are not cemented, the fact that alcohol consumption, smoking, increased calorie intake and the prevalent sedentary lifestyle behavior that exists with TV watching are all contributing factors.  Ironically, this is in alignment of what I learned early in my professional healthcare career.  The healthcare industry, then, stated that over 50% of their spending was from obesity, alcohol and smoking.   

Here’s a thought…What about placing your TV in front of an exercise ball or treadmill while watching?  Although I am sure this isn’t exactly what my parents had in mind when they were harping at me to watch less TV, but not a bad compromise when those office water cooler conversations start up about the last episode of Dancing with the Stars or the Voice.