Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Leap Up off That Couch; Too Much Time in Front of the Box Can Have Some Disastrous Effects on Health

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Leap Up off That Couch; Too Much Time in Front of the Box Can Have Some Disastrous Effects on Health

Article excerpt

AS a society, we are watching more television and doing less exercise than we should, with increasingly adverse effects on our health.

The reasons people give for TV watching include: "I work hard and need TV to relaxa, "Why should I give up something I like to do?a, and "I am too tired to do anything elsea.

We often need reasons to change our habits, so here are some compelling data from recent studies on TV watching:

1. Kids are spending more time with so-called aentertainment mediaa. A new study from the Kaiser Family Foundation revealed that teens and younger children spend almost eight hours a day watching TV, playing video games or surfing the internet. This has increased by more than an hour in just the past five years.

2. TV watching may shorten your life. A study published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association found that every hour per day on average spent in front of the television brings with it an 11% overall greater risk of premature death and an 18% greater risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

3. TV watching is linked to obesity and high cholesterol. Higher TV viewing hours are associated with higher body mass index numbers, lower levels of fitness and higher blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, according to a study published in 2008 in the International Journal of Obesity.

4. TV watching is linked to a bigger belly, flabby arms and an increased risk of heart disease. Decreasing the amount of TV watching might be effective as a first step in reducing atherosclerosis. Risk factors such as TV watching have an unfavourable association with the following measurements: BMI, waist girth, waist-to-hip ratio, and sub-scapular and triceps skin-fold thickness, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's Family Heart Study, published in Atherosclerosis in 2000. …

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