Throw Away Your Television

With Lost, American Idol, and other numerous TV shows back on the air, the primetime lineups are heating up again. But before you start sending out invitations for viewing parties (even with premieres hanging in the balance), check out what's been discovered about couch potato habits.

Australian researchers just released a study this week in Circulation that, basically, watching TV shortens your life span. Yup. Results show that for each hour per day we spend watching TV, we are at a(n):

- 18% greater risk of dying from cardiovascular disease

- 11% greater risk of all causes of death

- 9% increased risk of death from cancer

Note: These results reflect those who are overweight and obese, as well as those who regularly exercise and maintain a healthy weight. The LA Times supplies a synopsis of the study. Dr. David Dunstan, the lead author of the study, didn't find the results abnormal at all:

"When we're in that sitting posture, we're not using our muscles, and we know from extensive evidence that muscle contractions are important for the body's regulatory processes, such as the ability to break down glucose and use it as energy." That can cause insulin resistance, which can trigger a spike in blood sugar levels, possibly leading to type 2 diabetes.

Maybe it was a good idea to join a gym after all. Now, I can work out AND watch Modern Family - I mean, read a book at the same time.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.