Television & Heart Disease
Many Americans favorite pastime is watching television. However, the more time we spend in front of the television, the more likely we will die at an early age. For over 6 years, Dunstan and colleagues followed 8,800 adults with no prior history of heart disease.
The researchers found that the people who watched 4 hours of television a day were 80% more likely to die of heart disease and 46% more likely to die from any cause than those who watched only 2 hours of television a day. In addition, each additional 1 hour of television viewing was associated with an 18% increase in death from heart disease and 11% increase from all other causes!
Another study conducted by Grontved and Hu also found that television viewing was associated with the development of heart disease, diabetes, and death from other causes. For every 2-hour increase of daily television viewing, 176 more cases of type 2 diabetes per 100,000 people per year occurred, 38 more cases of heart disease per 100,000 individuals per year occurred, and 104 more deaths from all causes per 100,000 people per year occurred.
Why would that be? “No one yet knows the answer, but if you’re the type of person who has a lot of time but spends it sitting in front of the television, you also have other sedentary behaviors, like not going outside too much or engaging in physical activity,” said Dr. Nieca Goldberg, a cardiologist at New York University who was not involved in the study. “Compared to driving a car or doing work on a computer, television is a very passive activity,” Goldberg said. Other studies have suggested that watching television lowers the metabolism even more than just sitting and doing nothing.
There’s an easy fix, however — less TV and more action.
Americans Watch 8 Hours of Television a Day
Putting this into perspective — Americans watch an average of 8 hours of television per day! So, the potential for Americans to improve their health by turning off the TV is huge.
Replacing TV With Action
If you want to exercise regularly, schedule it into your daily routine. You are more likely to engage in physical activity if it is at the same time and on the same days of the week (just like your favorite television shows). That way you will know not to plan any other activities during that time. If you just exercise when you feel like it, you are more likely to either forget or to decide to refrain from exercising when you feel like doing something else. You can make working out and fitness a priority by scheduling exercise first and working other activities around it.
Replace TV With Recovery
Getting sober is the first step for addicts and alcoholics to begin enjoying a happy and healthy life. The last thing we need to do now, is spend our time zoned out in front of the TV. If we are not careful, television can become an addiction too.
Rather than wasting our time in front of the television, let’s see if we can help someone else in recovery. Is there someone we can call to see how they are doing? Perhaps we can accompany someone to a meeting, or take a walk with a sober friend. Once we turn off the TV and focus our attention on our recovery, we will find there is so much to do and wonder how we were able to previously spend so much time staring at a colorful screen. Recovery is a program of action!
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, please contact Balboa Horizons today for help. We are here for you! 1(866) 316-4012