TV watching as dangerous as smoking and lack of exercise

Researchers in Australia say smoking “can shorten of life expectancy by more than four years after the age of 50. That represents 11 minutes of life lost for every cigarette and that’s the same as half an hour of TV watching.” Said another way, for every hour of TV watched “after age 25, lifespan falls by 22 minutes.” Ouch! Time to turn off the TV, snub out the cigarettes, and begin walking 15 minutes a day to increase the quality and quantity of your life!

WebMD reports that watching six hours or more of television daily “could shorten the average life expectancy by nearly five years,” according to a study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. TV watching “time may have adverse health consequences that rival those of lack of physical activity, obesity and smoking,” wrote study authors J. Lennert Veerman, of the University of Queensland, Australia, and colleagues.

HealthDay reports that the researchers analyzed data on “11,000 people aged 25 and older from the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study” and looked at national “population and mortality figures.”

The study team found that in 2008, “Australian adults watched a total of 9.8 billion hours” of TV; and individuals who watched “more than six hours of TV were in the top 1 percent.” The statistics indicated too much TV watching “may be as dangerous as smoking and lack of exercise.”

For example, the researchers said smoking “can shorten of life expectancy by more than four years after the age of 50. That represents 11 minutes of life lost for every cigarette and that’s the same as half an hour of TV watching.”

They concluded that for every hour of TV watched “after age 25, lifespan fell by 22 minutes.”

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