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Are TV Watching and Life Expectancy Related?

Watching television has an extremely detrimental effect on life expectancy. On average, every hour of TV watched by people who are older than 25 reduces the viewer's lifespan by about 21 minutes, and watching TV for six or more hours a day can reduce life expectancy by more than five years. The average American spends almost 35 hours a week watching TV.

More facts about TV watching:

  • There is also a clear link between TV watching and heart disease. People who spend more than four hours a day watching TV or using a computer more than double their chances of having major cardiac problems.

  • Kids who watch more than five hours of TV per day are much more likely to be overweight and start smoking later in life than their peers who watch less TV. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children younger than 2 shouldn't watch any television, and those 2 or older should not watch more than two hours per day. In the United States, two-thirds of infants watch about two hours of TV or video recordings per day.

  • Besides watching TV on a television set, the average American also watches TV on the Internet for about three hours per month.
Discussion Comments
By anon221674 — On Oct 12, 2011

over what extended period of time are we talking?

i spend years not watching tv, now i find myself unemployed and alone in a foreign country after a break up. i tend to relax and shut off my mind by watching tv, shows and movies for several hours a day, combined with surfing the net. i have a feeling one hour a month does not cause me to lose 21 minutes of my life, however i can understand if it is every day for months and months. is there a clear answer here?

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