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Lounging in Front of the TV Could be as Dangerous as Smoking

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Those who spend six hours a day in front of the TV are at a high risk of five years sooner than those who are more active researchers claim.

Scientists suggest it could be as dangerous as smoking or being overweight and should be seen as a “public health problem.”

Experts from theUniversityofQueensland,Australia, suggest, “TV viewing time may have adverse health consequences that rival those of lack of physical activity, obesity and smoking; every single hour of TV viewed may shorten life by as much as 22 minutes.”

Australian and American guidelines suggest children should spend no more than two hours a day watching TV, but this study supports the idea that, “a public health case could be made that adults also need to limit the time spent watching TV.”

For people in the top 1% of the population who watch up to six hours of programmes a day, they “can expect to live 4.8 years less than a person who does not watch TV”.

Sally Davies,England’s Chief Medical Officer said, “Physical activity offers huge benefits and these studies back what we already know; that doing a little bit of physical activity each day brings health benefits and a sedentary lifestyle carries additional risks.”

Maureen Talbot, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said, “Sedentary behaviour such as vegging in front of the TV is practically a cultural institution these days. Many of us make a conscious decision not to smoke because we know it’s bad for us, and this study suggests that more of us should make the same kind of pledge about lounging around and watching TV.”

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