Navigation Links
Too Much TV May Take Years Off Your Life

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Spending your days in front of the television may contribute to a shortened lifespan, a new study suggests.

Researchers in Australia found that people who averaged six hours a day of TV lived, on average, nearly five years less than people who watched no TV.

For every hour of television watched after age 25, lifespan fell by 22 minutes, according to the research led by Dr. J. Lennert Veerman of the University of Queensland.

But other experts cautioned that the study did not show that TV watching caused people to die sooner, only that there was an association between watching lots of TV and a shorter lifespan.

Though a direct link between watching TV and a shortened lifespan is highly provocative, the harms of TV are almost certainly indirect, said Dr. David L. Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine.

"As a rule, the more time we spend watching TV, the more time we spend eating mindlessly in front of the TV, and the less time we spend being physically active," Katz said. "More eating and less physical activity, in turn, mean greater risk for obesity, and the chronic diseases it tends to anticipate, notably diabetes, heart disease and cancer."

Another explanation for the possible link may be that people who watch excessive amounts of TV "are lonely, or isolated, or depressed, and these conditions, in turn, may be the real causes of premature mortality," he added.

The report was published in the Aug 15 online edition of the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

In the study, researchers used data on 11,000 people aged 25 and older from the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study, which included survey information about how much TV people watched in a week. Researchers also used national population and mortality figures.

In 2008, Australian adults watched a total of 9.8 billion hours of TV. People who watched more than six hours of TV were in the top 1 percent for TV viewing.

The statistics suggest that too much TV may be as dangerous as smoking and lack of exercise in reducing life expectancy, the researchers said.

For example, smoking can shorten of life expectancy by more than four years after the age of 50. That represents 11 minutes of life lost for every cigarette and that's the same as half an hour of TV watching, the researchers said.

Without TV, researchers estimated life expectancy for men would be 1.8 years longer and for women, 1.5 years longer.

"While we used Australian data, the effects in other industrialized and developing countries are likely to be comparable, given the typically large amounts of time spent watching TV and similarities in disease patterns," the researchers noted.

Dr. Gregg Fonarow, associate chief of cardiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles, said that "there is increasing evidence that the amount of time spent in sedentary activity such at TV watching, distinct from the amount of time spent in purposeful exercise, may adversely impact health."

And although participating in a regular exercise program can help, it may not be enough to offset the risks of spending too much of the rest of the day -- while at work or at home -- getting no exercise whatsoever.

"Staying active and reducing time spent sedentary may be of benefit in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and may be considered as part of a comprehensive approach to improve cardiovascular health," Fonarow added.

Dr. Robert J. Myerburg, a professor of medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, added that "a sedentary lifestyle can reduce life expectancy."

Myerburg isn't sure why sitting around is not good for your health. "It's better to look at it from a positive prospective," he said. "That is: a physically active lifestyle is protective."

More information

For more information on exercise and health, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: David L. Katz, M.D., M.P.H., director, Prevention Research Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.; Gregg Fonarow, M.D., associate chief, cardiology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles; Robert J. Myerburg, M.D., professor, medicine, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; Aug. 15, 2011, British Journal of Sports Medicine, online

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. U.S. Women Using Dangerous Weight-Loss Pill 2 Years After Recall
2. Getting Along With Coworkers May Add Years to Your Life
3. Use of CT scans in emergency rooms increased 330 percent in 12 years
4. Study: Inherited Alzheimers Detectable 20 Years Before Symptom Onset
5. Inherited Alzheimers detectable 20 years before dementia
6. No increase in commonest preventable cause of intellectual disability over 20 years
7. Family meals remain important through teen years, expert says
8. Religious Identity Remains Constant in Teen Years: Study
9. Years of Air Pollution May Be Tied to Uncontrolled Asthma
10. Too Little Sleep in Preschool Years May Predict ADHD
11. Deaths and major morbidity from asbestos-related diseases in Asia likely to surge in next 20 years
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... Livonia, MI (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... at Presence Resurrection Medical Center (RMC) in Chicago, IL, UV Angel is evaluating the ... the medical and surgical intensive care units (totaling 30 beds) from May 2014 through ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Today, Mothers Against Drunk ... roadways has dropped below 10,000 for the first time since 2011. In 2014, there ... According to data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 32,675 people ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... In honor of ... Pioneers, individuals and groups responsible for advancing care for pulmonary hypertension (PH) patients ... by the public, will receive special recognition throughout 2016 as part of PHA’s ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Privately owned Contract ... significant expansion of its current state of the art research, development and manufacturing ... to increase its manufacturing capacity as well as to support its clients’ growing ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Many people know of the common symptoms of ... and dry skin. But many people who find their cholesterol levels and weight are ... their thyroid, especially if they don’t have any of the other symptoms. , Thyroid ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015  ARKRAY USA ... continues to provide evidence demonstrating the accuracy of its ... Congress on Insulin Resistance, Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease in ... both the Company,s GLUCOCARD ® 01 meter and ... accuracy requirements. The ability to accurately measure glucose levels ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015 Kitov Pharma ... KTOV), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of ... conditions, today announced the closing of its previously announced ... ADSs ), each representing 20 ordinary shares of the ... The ADSs and warrants were issued in a fixed ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... SAN DIEGO , Nov. 25, 2015  Trovagene, ... molecular diagnostics, today announced that Chief Executive Officer Antonius ... at the 27 th Annual Piper Jaffray Healthcare ... Conference at the New York Palace Hotel in ... 2015 at 1:30 p.m. EST. Mr. Schuh will be ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: