Do you watch TV for more than 10 hours in a week? You need to hit the stop button now
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Do you watch TV for more than 10 hours in a week? You need to hit the stop button now

Addicted to Indian TV serials or shows on the internet? You could be doing yourself a lot of harm if you watch TV for long. A study has linked excessive TV consumption with impaired physical activity in older adults.

fitness Updated: Jun 28, 2017 07:46 IST
Agence France-Presse
TV series,Binge watching,Health hazards
Excessive television watching has been linked to a variety of health problems. (Shutterstock )

A common pastime for many, excessive television watching has already been linked to a variety of health problems, as well as an increase in behaviours such as snacking. However the new research, led by UQ School of Public Health PhD candidate Natasha Reid, is the first study to look at a link between TV habits and physical function in older adults.

Last year, a research had suggested that kids with TV in their bedroom are at a higher risk of obesity. Placing TV sets in a child’s room could put them at significantly higher risk of being overweight in later life. Read the study here. It also kills creativity in children, suggested another study.

For the latest research, Reid used data from 1,938 participants in the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study (AusDiab). Participants were aged from 47 to 85 at the start of the study and followed over a 12-year period.

Subjects were classified into six groups based on their TV watching habits, ranging from consistently low at less than five hours a week (9.7% of participants), low-increasing (22.3%), moderate-decreasing (13.5%), moderate-increasing (30.3%), consistently-high (18.9%), and high-increasing at more than 30 hours of TV watching per week (5.2%).

Almost a third of participants fell into the moderate-increasing range, increasing their weekly TV watching from about 10 hours a week to about 20 hours. The study showed that those who spent less time watching television had significantly better lower-body muscle strength 12 years later.

“On a knee extensor strength test, the consistently low TV watchers performed better than most other groups,” commented Reid, who said the research suggested that excessive TV watching needed to be addressed earlier rather than later in life, as it could make a difference to independent living as we age.

“Future longitudinal studies that examine sitting time and its impact on physical function are also needed,” she added.

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First Published: Jun 23, 2017 10:35 IST