How many televisions do you have in your households? How many hours do you spend a day watching television? Let’s say 4-6 hours a day. Don’t you know that you could have done a lot of things at that time? Maybe you could have wok a part-time job; learned to cooked healthy foods; learned some new hobby or burned some calories by doing simple exercises.
In a research conducted by the team of J. Lennert Veerman, of the University of Queensland, Australia, and colleagues in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, they reported that:
“TV viewing time may have adverse health consequences that rival those of lack of physical activity, obesity and smoking. Every single hour of TV viewed may shorten life by as much as 22 minutes.”
Previous studies showed that sedentary behavior has adverse effects on a person’s health. It may contribute to anxiety, depression, and an increased risk of certain cancer, as well as heart attack and stroke. Watching TV is known to account for a large amount of sedentary activity.
In a separate Australian study, results showed that an hour of TV a day led to an 8% increase in the risk of premature death. Too much sitting has been linked to higher mortality risk, particularly from cardiovascular disease.
According to Veerman:
“Logically we know that physical activity is good for health and so it’s not so strange that the reverse is not so good.”
How Excess TV Watching Affects Your Health
Watching television has been found to be a contributing factor to a loss of health. It contributes to too much sitting time and too little exercise affects your posture and causes back pain. When a person who spends many hours watching television gets hungry, he tends to overeat unhealthy foods, such as those with high Glycemic Index that negatively affects the blood sugar and predispose a person to develop Type 2 Diabetes.
TV Watching Addiction Harms Kids
Statistics show that 54% of 4 to 6-year-olds would rather spend time watching television than spending time with their parents.
Though televisions can entertain, inform, and keep our children company, it can influence them in undesirable ways.
The time spent by your child in watching television takes away the time he should have been spending from important activities such as reading, exercise, family interaction, school work, playing, and social development. Aside from these, the kids can also be influenced by the different commercials they see on TV wherein most are alcohol, junk food, fast foods, and toys. Topics such as drug abuse, violence, alcoholism, and sex may also be brought to the child’s attention sooner than necessary.
Television violence has a significant negative impact on our children. Excessive viewing of violence may:
- Cause a young child to play more aggressively after viewing violence on television
- Cause a child to be excessively apprehensive about personal safety or his or her future
- Numb a child’s sympathy toward victims of violence
Tips To Prevent Your Children From Excessive Television Viewing
- Limit your child’s watching time and do not put a television in your children’s bedrooms.
- Teach your children to search the TV guide to find shows that interest them before turning on the television.
- Encourage your child to read instead of watching television.
- Encourage them to participate in sports, games, music, and hobbies.
- Talk about violence and forbid violent shows.