Family Living 4 Less

Saving Money Without the Sacrifice!

Watching TV Linked to Higher Risk of Death

Posted by flsquared on January 13, 2010

Tuesday’s WSJ reported that Watching TV Linked to Higher Risk of Death.  According to the Australian study, watching 2-4 hours of TV/day increased your risk of death by 13%, and watching more than 4 hours increased it by 46%.  Wow.  They also specified cardiovascular disease:  watching TV for 4+ hours increased this risk by 80%.

The interesting part of this study is the solution.  The researchers don’t say that you need to participate in “hard core” exercise (in fact, the participants in the study averaged 30-45 minutes of exercise/day).

Instead, their worry is that becoming a couch potato reduces “incidental moving around”.  This goes for other sedentary activity (oxymoron, anyone?) such as surfing the net (duh!), reading a book (hmmm…), or taking the train to work (!).  After an entire day of inactivity, your HDL levels can fall 20%.  Wow.

Honestly, articles such as this one just reaffirm to me our decision to move to Manhattan.  Sure, we’re tearing our hair out trying to keep our bills down and we go a bit stir-crazy in such a small space during the winter, but perhaps that’s the point.  It makes us get creative and get moving.  We simply can’t afford the luxury of a huge place with luxuries that would entice us to stay in all day.  Even take out gets expensive so we hoof it over to the grocery store and the make our meal.  And you know what?  All of that movement and activity seems to make us happier!

Speaking of, I am going to sign off, bundle up the kids, and take advantage of the two whole hours of sunny 34 degree weather this afternoon!

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2 Responses to “Watching TV Linked to Higher Risk of Death”

  1. cwnmamau said

    I’ve lost quite a bit of weight just moving from a job that had me sitting for short periods of time to a job that doesn’t allow me to sit at all. Just that little bit more makes a huge difference.

    And although I don’t envy your 34 degrees, I do wish we had a better public transportation system here. I hate driving.

    “For instance, after just a few hours of inactivity, an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase that pulls fat from the blood shuts down…” I think this is important. Specifically the part that says “after just a few hours of inactivity.” So we can still surf the web and read our books, we just might need to take a walk or move around every hour or two.

    • flsquared said

      Totally agree with you on all counts! I hate driving as well–I haven’t gotten into a car more than 5 or 6 times in the same number of months and haven’t missed it a bit!

      Glad you’re able to move around a bit with your new job. I seem to remember reading a study in college that spoke to how many calories you burn with little movements like tapping your finger or shaking your foot while you sit at your desk. However, your being able to move around at work seems more align with Morgan Spurlock’s having to take a cab to avoid taking more steps than the average American in Supersize Me. Wouldn’t it be great if walking around and being active was just a part of our lives and we didn’t have to rely on gyms (or they remained just a supplemental activity?).

      And you hit the nail on the head with your quote. Not to be used as a scare tactic, but too much of anything is never a good thing.

      Take care! Love your blog!-J

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