One Swap May Help Improve the Odds of Long Life by 28 Percent

We would all like to live longer, healthier lives. But it can be overwhelming. There is so much health advice. One simple change may increase your odds of living longer by 28 percent. Replace one hour of watching TV with physical activity, and you can dramatically improve your chances of healthy aging.

A study followed 45,176 nurses for 20 years. They all started out free of major chronic diseases. They were asked how many hours they sat at work, commuting, at home not watching TV and how many hours of TV they watched. They were also asked how much they walked at work, during their commute and at home. They reported their walking speed, the number of stairs they climbed in a day and the forms of recreational fitness they performed. They were asked about their sleep patterns. They answered questions about their medical history, family history, diet, tobacco and alcohol use, income and marital status.

They found that the amount of TV a person watched greatly impacted their healthy aging. Each increase of two hours daily decreased the chance of healthy aging by 12 percent. Watching TV was worse than sitting to eat, read or do another hobby. That’s because watching TV.

Watching TV is often linked to unhealthy habits, like eating too many snacks, TV dinners, spending less time with friends and can impact sleep.

Vegging out in front of the television, seems to always be associated with worse outcomes,” said Dr. Andrew Freeman, director of cardiovascular prevention and wellness at National Jewish Health. “Of course, it makes physiologic sense that human beings were never meant to sit in front of a screen all day long.”

A sleep schedule is harder to maintain if you stare at a light source before bed. And paying attention to your food is difficult if you’re watching a compelling story on a screen. That’s why it’s essential to disconnect from screens. And movement is vital for remaining healthy.

You’re missing out on all that physical activity, which is truly an unbelievable way to reduce cardiovascular risk and blood pressure,” said Dr. Freeman.

The nurses who sat a lot at work, had long drives to work, were avid readers or had other sedentary hobbies did not have as terrible outcomes. It really was about turning off the television. Even if you feel you are physically active, limiting your screen time could offer a huge boost to your health. The researchers found that replacing TV time with almost any other activity aided health!  

Banner image: Cottonbro Studio via Pexels

Related Posts

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Please check your email to confirm your subscription.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form
By clicking the "Subscribe" button you agree to our newsletter policy