Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Daily TV quota of six hours could shorten life expectancy by five years

Date:
August 16, 2011
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Watching TV for an average of six hours a day could shorten the viewer's life expectancy by almost five years, indicates new research.

Watching TV for an average of six hours a day could shorten the viewer's life expectancy by almost five years, indicates research published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The impact rivals that of other well known behavioural risk factors, such as smoking and lack of exercise, the study suggests.

Sedentary behaviour -- as distinct from too little exercise -- is associated with a higher risk of death, particularly from heart attack or stroke. Watching TV accounts for a substantial amount of sedentary activity, but its impact on life expectancy has not been assessed, say the authors.

They used previously published data on the relationship between TV viewing time and death from analyses of the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study (AusDiab), as well as Australian national population and mortality figures for 2008, to construct a lifetime risk framework.

AusDiab is a national survey of a representative sample of the population, starting in 1999-2000, and involving more than 11,000 adults aged 25 or older.

The authors then constructed a risk framework for the Australian population in 2008, based on the answers the survey participants had given, when quizzed about the total amount of time they had spent in the previous week watching TV or videos.

In 2008 the authors estimated that Australian adults aged 25 and older watched 9.8 billion hours of TV, which led them to calculate that every single hour of TV watched after the age of 25 shortened the viewer's life expectancy by just under 22 minutes.

Based on these figures, and expected deaths from all causes, the authors calculated that an individual who spends a lifetime average of six hours a day watching TV can expect to live just under five fewer years than someone who does not watch TV.

These figures compare with the impact of other well known lifestyle factors on the risk of death from cardiovascular disease after the age of 50, including physical activity and obesity.

For example, other research has shown that lifelong smoking is associated with the shortening of life expectancy by more than 4 years after the age of 50, with the average loss of life from one cigarette calculated to be 11 minutes -- equivalent to half an hour of TV watching, according to the authors' risk framework.

Their findings "suggest that substantial loss of life may be associated with prolonged TV viewing," say the authors. And they add: "While we used Australian data, the effects in other industrialised and developing countries are likely to be comparable, given the typically large amounts of time spent watching TV and similarities in disease patterns."

They conclude: "If these [figures] are confirmed and shown to reflect a causal association, TV viewing is a public health problem comparable in size to established behavioural risk factors."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J Lennert Veerman, Genevieve N Healy, Linda J Cobiac, Theo Vos, Elisabeth A H Winkler, Neville Owen, David W Dunstan. Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis. Br J Sports Med, 15 August 2011 DOI: 10.1136/bjsm.2011.085662

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Daily TV quota of six hours could shorten life expectancy by five years." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110815191414.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2011, August 16). Daily TV quota of six hours could shorten life expectancy by five years. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110815191414.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Daily TV quota of six hours could shorten life expectancy by five years." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110815191414.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins