January 27, 2010

Some days ago I read an interesting article published on msnbc.com.  The article was entitled “Couch Potatoes May Have Shorter Lives”; subtitle: “each TV viewing hour increases risk of death from any cause”.   The comments were taken from a study that looked at the connection between watching TV and the death rate for 8,000 Australian adults.  The conclusion was that for each hour of TV-viewing, there was an 11 percent increase in the risk of death from any cause and an 18 percent increase in the risk from cardiovascular disease.   The study indicated that those who watch TV for four hours or more each day had a 46 percent increased risk of death from any cause and an 80 percent increased risk of cardiovascular disease.  This is compared to those who watch TV less than two hours per day.   According to the Neilsen Company, the “average” American watches approximately 5 hours of TV per day.  In comparison, the “average” person in the UK and Australia watch around 3 hours per day.  In looking at the breakdown for those 8,000 people, 3,846 were men and 4,954 were women—all over 25 years of age.   The study was conducted over a period of 6 years and all 8,000 people were monitored and questioned over that period of time.   Their viewing habits AND blood samples were taken on a scheduled basis to determine sugar levels, cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

I think this is really scary.  But I also think it’s probably correct.  The secret is to keep moving.  They determined that even changing chairs periodically will produce some benefits even though you are watching TV.  I have a few other observations relative to watching television.   These are over and above the medical reasons for curtailing time spent in front of the “boob-tube”.   Take a look:

  • Ridiculous programming—Never in the history of TV have we had so many time-wasting choices.  Every major station has figured out that reality TV is the way to cut costs and get away from the highly paid actors and actresses.  They use “rookies”, make them stars for 10 minutes and then throw them away.
  • No books—Every hour spent watching TV is one less hour reading a book.  I am absolutely convinced that (still ) the greatest information gained is passed from the author of a good book to the reader of that good book.  No doubt about it.
  • Lack of intellectual stimulation—How can Homer Simpson be intellectually stimulating?  Three Men and a Boy, The View, Opra, How I Met Your Mother, Dog the Bounty Hunter, WWW, etc etc.  You get the picture.  The brain drain is evident.
  • Really mad—Ever watch the news?  Don’t you just love the antics of our Congress?  If your kids played with each other in the same fashion as the members of Congress interact with each other, you would take them to the woodshed.  Admit it.
  • Debasing influence—Violence, sex, lying, corruption—and that’s the talk shows.
  • Inaccuracies—I can watch Fox, then ABC, then CBS then NBC then PBS and get different versions of the same story.  Never fails.
  • Less time with the family—Enough said.
  • Losing sleep—I talk to people who ask me—hey, did you see Letterman last night?  How about Leno?  Don’t they come on around midnight?  Think about it.

OK that’s my list and my point.  I would love to hear yours.


6 Responses to “LONGEVITY”

  1. cielotech Says:

    Hell Ab Flyer,

    I enjoyed looking at your site. Really cool graphics. I will definitely be a “frequent flyer”.
    Take care.
    Bob J.


  2. Del Bonano Says:

    I stumbled onto your blog and read a few post. I like your style of writing.


  3. Percy Peary Says:

    Well that for sure is a different perspective that I had never thought of.


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