Turn Off Your TV and Add Five Years to Your Life? See How!

Imagine this: a simple, daily change in your life will allow you to live five years longer. The best part? You can start right now! Intrigued? Let’s dive into the details of this life-changing habit.

A research study from Australia suggests that by merely turning off your television, you can increase your life expectancy by five whole years. Beware, swapping out TV for computer screens doesn’t count here!

The Research That Backs It Up

To support this impressive claim, researchers referred to data obtained from the Australian Diabetes, Obesity, and Lifestyle Study (or AusDiab). They also utilized national population and mortality figures from Australia in 2008 to develop a lifetime risk structure.

AusDiab is an extensive database tracking the health of 11,000 individuals, established in 1999. Participants involved in this study are all over the age of 25.

According to the researchers, their study suggests, “that substantial loss of life may be associated with prolonged TV viewing. 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.”

To give you some perspective, Australians watch nearly 10 billion hours of television a year. Meanwhile, Americans surpass this statistic with a staggering 250 billion hours of annual TV viewing.

The Health Risks of Prolonged TV Viewing

While binge-watching your favorite television show may seem like a harmless way to relax after a long day, several health risks are associated with extended periods of TV viewing.

First and foremost, sedentary behavior is known to be a contributing factor to obesity. It’s not just the lack of physical activity that leads to weight gain, but also the consumption of high-calorie snacks typically found around the TV. The increased risk of obesity is linked to severe health issues such as heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer.

Furthermore, extended TV sessions can lead to issues with blood circulation, which may cause blood clots. These clots, if not caught early, can lead to life-threatening conditions such as deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism.

Lastly, excessive screen time can impact mental health by promoting feelings of isolation and loneliness, which can exacerbate issues such as depression and anxiety.

Some Suggestions for a Healthier Lifestyle

If you’re looking to make a positive change in your life by reducing your TV viewing time, here are a few suggestions to help you improve your overall health:

  1. Set designated “TV-free” times: Determine specific timeframes during the day when you will not engage with the television. This could include during dinner, an hour before bedtime, or even just a specific day of the week.

  2. Limit the number of shows you watch: Avoid binge-watching by choosing only a select number of shows to follow each season, and stop at one or two episodes per night.

  3. Find alternative activities: Replace television time with healthier alternatives, such as reading, engaging in a hobby, or socializing with friends and family.

  4. Incorporate physical activities during TV watching: If you must watch TV, try to incorporate physical activities while you do it. Stand up to stretch, walk around, or use a stationary bike or treadmill during commercial breaks or less interesting scenes.

  5. Use a timer to limit TV sessions: Designate a specific timeframe for television viewing and use a timer to help you stick to it. When the timer goes off, turn off the TV and move on to a different activity.

Remember, by implementing these small changes in your daily routine, you can improve your overall health and potentially extend your life expectancy. So go ahead, take control of your life, and embrace a TV-free (or at least TV-limited) life. Your body—and your future self—will thank you!