[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=television&iid=5063757″ src=”9/c/a/0/Man_in_swimming_2439.jpg?adImageId=9456306&imageId=5063757″ width=”380″ height=”254″ /]True confession time: I love TV. Reality, drama, sitcom, home and garden, cooking, sports. Truth be told I’m not a fan of the celebrity talk show, though. Imagine my personal dismay at this article, which cites the following:
Aussies who reported watching four or more hours of TV a day were 46% more likely to die during a 6.6-year period than those who watched less than two hours a day, according to David Dunstan, PhD, of Monash University in Melbourne, and colleagues. . . The associations were independent of leisure-time exercise and traditional risk factors such as smoking, poor diet, high blood pressure, and abdominal obesity.
“Even if you exercise, if you have a lot of sedentary living with the things that go along with it — the bad diet and everything else — you still have a net degree of physical inactivity, which is a coronary artery disease risk factor,” Fletcher told MedPage Today.
Is the typical scenario someone who gets home from work and plops down in front of the TV, dinner break, maybe in front of the TV as well, then crawls into bed to watch TV and fall asleep to Conan Jay? Wait, that might sound a little too familiar. What if we substitute other sedentary activities: blogging or working online, doing puzzles, playing cards, reading? I suppose those activities are not as mesmerizing as the flickering glow of the flat screen.
Many people have spent time and money on their entertainment setups, media rooms and the like. How can we use them for good instead of evil? Here are some ideas:
- Wii Fit
- On-demand or Fit TV programming (check with your cable company)
- Fitness DVDs
- Cooking shows with focus on healthy eating
- Use your DVR so if there’s a show you really love you can fast forward through commercials and watch it in less time or you can save it up for a Friday night.
- If you don’t have a DVR, do exercises or stretches during commercial breaks.
- Ask yourself, as you sit down to watch another rerun, “Is this enriching my life?” If the answer is no, maybe you can find something that does and may help you be healthier in the long run.