Television certainly has much to offer, and without a doubt is a great innovation, but when it comes to relying on it, whether to be informed or entertained, it can certainly affect us negatively. Watching it may have a relaxation benefits as a way of reducing stress, but studies have discovered just how bad it can be.
Reducing the time spent watching television and increasing physical activity levels can significantly reduce risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and a host of other health problems.
Different studies have found that for every additional two hours spent glued to the tube, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases by 20 per cent and heart disease by 15 per cent. Moreover, for every additional three hours the study participants spent in front of the TV, their risk of dying from any cause during the respective studies raises 13 per cent on average.
It was also found that sitting for long periods can impair the body’s ability to regulate blood pressure and reduce blood flow. Interestingly, a new study has grouped the people into three groups according to health outcome, which highlight that the third group, in which people watched TV for more than 21 hours per week, had almost double the chances of plaque buildup in their arteries compared with those in the low group.
What’s more, people in the high TV-watching group are 68 per cent more likely to have hypertension and 50 per cent more likely to have diabetes. Exactly, what I am trying to emphasise here is the importance of avoiding prolonged periods of sedentary behaviour. Sadly, studies suggest that children should spend no more than two hours a day in front of a screen, otherwise they might face mental health and also blood pressure issues.
Also, young adults who watch a lot of TV and don’t exercise much may start to see the effects of their unhealthy habits on their brains as early as midlife. The people in the study who watched more than 3 hours of TV per day on average over the 25 years are more likely to perform poorly in certain cognitive tests in comparison with people who watched less TV.
At last, turn off your TV and abandon your sofa. Even activities of low energy expenditure, such as socialising with friends or house activities, may have a remarkable benefit to your health compared to a time spent sitting and watching TV.
Dr Yousuf Ali al Mulla, MD, Ministry of Health. He is a medical innovator and educator. For any queries regarding the content of the column,
he can be contacted at: email@example.com