Scientists caution: Watching TV may shortern your life?

Was there life before Television?

Television has been called many names in the few decades it’s been around – among them the Great Wasteland and Idiot Box. Television used to be the favourite whipping boy of those who love to criticise communication technologies and consumer gadgets — until the Internet and mobile phones came along.

Couch potatoes of the world have ignored all snide remarks, and just carried on their sedentary practice.

Now they might have to think again: Television may be hazardous to your health in more ways than previously imagined. In fact, it might shorten your life.

A couple of weeks ago, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Science reported some worrying news. It said Australian scientists have published research showing a link which suggests that the more TV a person watches, the sooner they die.

The report, which appears in the journal Circulation,says every extra hour spent watching television increases people’s risk of premature death.

Professor David Dunstan of the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, followed more than 8000 Australian adults for six years.

The team discovered that the people who watched the most TV died younger.

“What this study provides is the first compelling evidence linking television viewing to an increased risk of early death,” says Dunstan. “People who watch four or more hours of television a day have a 46% higher risk of death from all causes and 80% increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease.”

Read full report on ABC Science: TV shortens your life span, study finds

New Scientist, January 2008: Couch potato lifestyle may speed up ageing

Trivia: Robert Armstrong, an artist from California, developed the term couch potato in 1976. Several years later, he listed the term as a trademark with the United States government. Armstrong also helped illustrate a funny book about life as a full-time television watcher. It is called the “Official Couch Potato Handbook.”

Author: Nalaka Gunawardene

A science writer by training, I've worked as a journalist and communication specialist across Asia for 30+ years. During this time, I have variously been a news reporter, feature writer, radio presenter, TV quizmaster, documentary film producer, foreign correspondent and journalist trainer. I continue to juggle some of these roles, while also blogging and tweeting and column writing.

One thought on “Scientists caution: Watching TV may shortern your life?”

  1. Great cartoon to go with a bad news. Here is another joke I haave heard for many years. H
    How did human males become extinct?
    They forgot to got out of the couch even for a TV break!@

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: