Can TV Kill You?

26 Aug

We all knew it would happen one day, when electronics would rise up and take over the world.  In reality, it is our fault for making them so intelligent.


What I really want to talk about is an article on the MSN homepage Thursday entitled Your TV is Killing You by Christen Brownlee of Men’s Health.

She states that the average American is watching 5 hours of TV a day.  (Ok, so you are not the average.  But, please read on.)


I would like to take it a step farther, though, and include those of us who work desk jobs too.  I work at a computer, answer phones, send emails… for 8 hours a day.  So, I conisder this article to apply to me, though I have not watched a minute of TV since Monday, when I watched about 10 minutes.

While our TV’s are not going to pick up a weapon and come after us (or our desk chairs for that matter), the Journal of the American Medical Association recently published a study with the following stats:

Every 2 hours of TV watching per day increases your risk of …

type 2 diabetes by 20 percent.

cardiovascular disease by 15 percent.

premature death by and cause by 13 percent.

Now, now, of course research and new studies can always be questioned to the end of day.  The reality is that we do not need a study to tell us that sitting is bad for us.  That is NOT what our bodies were created to do.  That is not what promotes health and vitality.  We all know that we need to be moving…. and moving a lot.

So, what if I work out, does that mean I can then go home and sit for a few hours and be ok?

A 2007  report actually states that people who do not do much exercise, but do lead an active lifestyle, burn more calories than those who do run 35 miles weekly and do a moderate amount of non-exercise (aka tv watching or desk sitting.)

Dr. Frank B. Hu, MD, PhD, of Harvard School of Public Health says, people who watch more TV tend to eat more and exercise less, especially junk food.  Who are we kidding?  Advertisement works, and there are MANY more commercials for soda, sugar cereal, beer, cookies, and chips than there are for oatmeal, fruit, and vegetables.

This is a serious concern that I have had over the last 3 weeks of working full time in an office.  My body does not feel as good now that I sit so much.  I do not feel like I recover from workouts as well, due to long periods of being still with minimal blood flow.

So, I am coming up with a plan, and I think you should too!


At home, only watch TV while exercising (treadmill, bike trainer, core exercises), except for the occassional movie with friends (cause that would be awkward).

At work, get up often.  I am talking about every 15 minutes and do something.  Walk to the window. Use the bathroom.  Do some jumping jacks in the hallway.  Squats in a random corner. Stand when I can. I just want to keep my metabolism up.

Plan active outings.  Instead of meeting a friend for coffee or dinner, go for a walk or a hike.  We can still be social but moving too.  (This will have to wait until the temp gets cooler. )

Fidget. I am pretty good at this one already.  I am not that great at sitting still.

I am also considering an exercise ball as my desk chair.  Faith, over at Gracefulfitness, is an incredible example of an active lifestyle.  She uses an exercise ball when she sits at the desk at her office.  Core workout please!

There is definitely a time and place for rest, but not 8-12 hours a day.

What is your plan?  What change will you make?

You do not have to do everything at once.  Every change counts.

Leave me a comment and let me know one change that you want to make to be more active!


12 Responses to “Can TV Kill You?”

  1. Minnooo August 26, 2011 at 9:42 am #

    Uh oh…I am def sitting in my chair at work for waaaay too long each day. I thought about a stability ball chair once but then I realized my coworkers would look at me like I was nuts for bring a piece of workout equipment to work. Not to mention my back faces my bosses doorway. As in he would be staring at a giant ball everytime he passed. I’m just not ready for that type of display…

    • weightsandmeasures August 26, 2011 at 10:38 am #

      I have thought about looking awkward too, but I think that my health has to come before my insecurity (and I can be pretty insecure). The reality is that the more healthy I am, the more confident and secure I will feel.

      See Faith’s comment below. How much more confidently will I be sitting on that ball when I have definition in my abs?

      But! If you aren’t ready for that, no worries! Just do what you can! Every change counts. Maybe just get up and stretch or take a walk around more often. Climb stairs during lunch or walk around outside.

      • Minnooo August 26, 2011 at 12:01 pm #

        You are right, health should over shadow insecurity. I do try to move and stretch a bit here and there…but theres always room for improvement. And who knows? We might be the ones to start the ballchair movement in our workplace…in a perfect world 🙂

  2. gracefulfitness August 26, 2011 at 9:48 am #

    Thanks Danielle! And yes, I’ve noticed serious definition in my abs from my desk ball!

    • weightsandmeasures August 26, 2011 at 10:34 am #

      I may just have to buy one this weekend. I will have to go back and reread your post myself for your recommendation of how long to sit on it at first. Lord knows we all need some extra core work in our lives too! By the way, I loved you posts leading up to your birthday, especially the one about accepting some of the features you had once considered flaws. It was beautiful!

  3. Christina August 26, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

    Speaking of beautiful…your picture on the sidebar is BEAUTIFUL!! =)

    • weightsandmeasures August 26, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

      Oh thanks! A friend snapped that picture of me when I was unaware. I really like the lighting.

  4. Matt @ The Athlete's Plate August 26, 2011 at 6:36 pm #

    I don’t have cable so I’ll be living a long life 😉


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