Eighty percent of the American public watches three and a half hours of television a day in a recent research study on the health effects of leisurely activities. While other studies have addressed the health effects of sitting down while earning your living, this new one looked at leisurely activities people participate in at home.
The test subjects used in this interesting study were rather unique since they were all survivors of colorectal cancer.
No one should foolishly think that these researchers were singling out watching television versus other reasons why people might sit down for long periods. While watching television was used as a marker for sedentary behavior, the researchers were really referring to all possible leisure time activities that you can engage in while sitting down. While this NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study talks mostly about time spent viewing television, there is very little reason to believe that the findings would not apply to hours spent on the computer, watching movies, or even reading.
This study went beyond risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer to many different causes of premature death; including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, pneumonia, Parkinson, liver disease, and even suicide.
Are You Sitting Down Too Much?
These adverse health findings were found to apply even if you are physically active during other periods of the day.
This new armchair study looked at data generated from the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study that explored the impact diet had upon personal health. The researchers ended up with a cohort of 221,000 test subjects. All of them completed a questionnaire that was followed-up by a second questionnaire. In addition, the test subjects reported on how many hours a day that they had watched television as well as on a number of physically demanding activities.
Statistical analysis was employed to adjust for other risk factors (often referred to as a covariate, confounding, or as an interacting variable) that might have influenced the study results, such as smoking, drinking alcohol, BMI, caloric intake, and health status.
The researchers determined that watching four or more hours of television each day was associated with a 20 percent increased risk of premature death.
This is a good research study to look at since everyone can read its full text online for free.
Another Study Has Also Found That Watching TV Increases Risk Of Death
In conclusion: The Natural Health Perspective has determined that too much sitting during leisurely activities at home is bad for your health, regardless of how physically active you are. The reason that sitting adversely affects your health is because the walking motions of your legs pump the circulation system of your immune system. In other words, your immune system stagnates while both sitting and laying down.
Watching seven or more hours of television a day can raise your risk of dying by 47 percent. Viewing more than 4 hours of television or video daily was associated with an approximate 20% increased risk of premature death.
It is suggested that you should sit down at home after work no more than 2 hours a day. Ideally, time spent sitting down each day should be replaced with some type of physical activity, even if that means nothing more than merely standing up, periodically walking around, or even riding an exercise bike.