Watching TV Linked With 8 Major Causes Of Death


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Written by: Kirsten Cowart

80% of U.S. adults watch 3.5 hours of television each day.

Many different studies have shown that there is a strong link between watching TV and poor health. A recent study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine investigated the link between watching TV and having an increased risk of death from the 8 most common causes of death in the U.S.

Televisions Are Extremely Common In The U.S.

92% of families in the U.S. have a television in their home. Watching TV takes up more than half of the average adult’s leisure time and probably takes away from activities that would keep you more active.

In previous studies, they showed that there is a relationship between cancer or cardiovascular disease and watching TV. Researchers for this study looked at more than 221,000 people between the ages of 50 and 71. They confirmed that if you watch a lot of television then you will have a higher risk of death and disease. Some of these related issues were diabetes, pneumonia/influenza, liver disease and Parkinson’s disease.   

Being Sedentary Is The Reason Watching TV Is So Bad For You

“We know that television viewing is the most prevalent leisure-time sedentary behavior and our working hypothesis is that it is an indicator of overall physical inactivity. In this context, our results fit within a growing body of research indicating that too much sitting can have many different adverse health effects,” explained Sarah K. Keadle, Ph.D., MPH, lead author on the study from National Cancer Institute.

This Means That Lifestyle Is A Major Factor In Your Health

“Our study has generated new clues about the role of sedentary behavior and health and we hope that it will spur additional research.”

The study looked at those who watched less than one hour of TV per day and compared that to the national average, which is 3-4 hours a day. They found that those who watched 3-4 hours of television per day were 15% more likely to die from one of these major causes of death. Individuals who watched 7 or more hours were 47% more likely to die. The biggest change to the risk of death appeared to happen around the 3-4 hours of television per day mark.  

There are other factors to mortality rate such as diet, alcohol and smoking, but there is a strong correlation between people who watch a lot of television and these other risk factors. If you spend a lot of time in front of the television then you are more likely to consume fast food and have a lack of physical activity.  

Something else you need to consider is that the mortality rate associated with TV watching was the same with active and inactive adults. This means that physical activity isn’t the only harmful part of watching TV.  

Could The Electrical Fields From Television’s Be Harming You?

Yes, it could be diet and other factors, but another study came out from Science Daily that talked about how electronics mess with your cells. The found out that your cells open up to electric fields and try to receive the data as if it was from your nervous system.  

Your cells are probably getting worn down by the electrical interference on a cellular level, which may be causing mixed up signals in your body. If your body is drained and distracted from all of the electronic exposure, then you may have a slower response to diseases. This is something to consider since the researchers aren’t sure why the stats did not change between the active and inactive TV viewers.

“Although we found that exercise did not fully eliminate risks associated with prolonged television viewing, certainly for those who want to reduce their sedentary television viewing, exercise should be the first choice to replace that previously inactive time,” said Dr. Keadle.

Watching TV Is Most Common In Older Adults

“Older adults watch the most TV of any demographic group in the U.S.,” concluded Dr. Keadle. “Given the increasing age of the population, the high prevalence of TV viewing in leisure time and the broad range of mortality outcomes for which risk appears to be increased, prolonged TV viewing may be a more important target for public health intervention than previously recognized.”

Perhaps future generations won’t struggle with this as much as more of these studies come out and the general decline of views continues to expand. Sounds like it’s time to turn your TV off and go outside. Who’s with me?

Sources– Elsevier Health Sciences. “Prolonged TV viewing linked to eight leading causes of death in US: In addition to cancer and heart disease, many hours of TV viewing associated with risk for 6 other causes of death.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 October 2015. <>.

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Kirsten Campbell
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Kirsten Campbell

Kirsten Cowart is a writer and researcher that has worked in the spiritual, mental health and medical fields.Kirsten enjoys studying and experiencing the benefits of yoga, meditation, nutrition, herbalism, organic gardening and alternative health.She worked hard in 2014 losing over 40 lbs. and has since maintained a healthy lifestyle.Follow her to learn more about her journey on Twitter, Facebook & Youtube!
Kirsten Campbell
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