Turn off the tv

 

Physical activity is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle. In combination with healthy eating, it can help prevent a range of chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and stroke, which are the three leading causes of death. Physical activity helps control weight, builds lean muscle, reduces fat, promotes strong bone, muscle and joint development, and decreases the risk of obesity.

Based on the current culture, where technology rules all, turning off the television is an important part of creating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. According to a study performed by AC Nielsen Co., the average American spends more than 4 hours a day watching television. That equates to 28 hours a week, or about 2 full weeks of television in a year. For an individual that lives to at least 65 years old, he/she will have spent approximately 9 years glued to their television set.

This advice is most important for children. With the latest advances in technology, kids spend all day texting, playing video games, and watching television. Despite requiring at least 1 hour of moderately-intense physical activity every day to maintain a healthy weight, children are rarely active.

More alarming than the typical American’s 4 hours of television per day is the fact that eight to 18 year old adolescents spend an average of 7.5 hours a day using entertainment media including TV, computers, video games, cell phones and movies, and only one-third of high school students get the recommended levels of physical activity.

Think about how much time you spend in front of a computer, in a chair, or watching television. Inactivity is detrimental to the body because motion and movement are needed for the cardiovascular system (veins require muscle contractions to push blood back to the heart), lymphatic system (it contains no internal pumps- all lymphatic flow is governed by movement), and the musculoskeletal system (muscles and joints are designed to move- in fact, joint movement replenishes lubricating fluids in the joints to prevent degeneration and arthritis) to function properly.

Not only does the television harm us physically, but it also does damage to us emotionally and psychologically. The average adolescent will witness 8,000 murders on television before finishing elementary school. Do you and your family a favor by turning off the television. Start by dedicating one day a week to substituting the television watching for an activity outside or by only allowing yourself to watch television when it is dark outside.