Commentary

Hours Of TV Watching: Great For Networks, Not For Your Health

Sitting is good business for TV programmers, producers and networks.

But for one’s health? Not so much.

New research -- which seems to be part old common sense and earlier research -- says nearly 26% of adults sit down more than eight hours a day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Over 44% of those surveyed report no moderate or vigorous activity during a given week.

Some of this comes from work hours and desk jobs. But we should also assume that TV plays a a big part.

Right now, the average U.S. TV adult, according to a recent Nielsen report, spends around four hours and 46 minutes watching live and time-shifted TV. But that is just the beginning.

Another 46 minutes comes in watching on TV-connected devices; 10 minutes on a laptop/desktop computer; 10 minutes on a smartphone; and five minutes on a tablet. Total TV and video could comprise 60% or more of that sit time.

Blame much of this on the original TV habit, that ‘cool’ medium for entertainment and relaxation.

Other reports say sitting is perhaps even worse they we thought. One blaring headline: “Sitting is the new smoking.”

Some people got the message: The CDC study says just under 3% of adults in the survey said they sit for less than four hours per day and are active. The entire 2017 study was based on 8,000 adults.

Maybe TV networks should invest in some standing desks where big screen TVs and laptops can be strategically placed. Treadmills and stationary bikes not included.

And if that doesn't work, the lead author of the CDC study noted: For every 30 consecutive minutes of sitting, stand up and move or walk for five minutes at brisk pace to reduce the health risks from sitting.

OK, but overall TV health will be affected: We’ll be missing the commercials.

1 comment about "Hours Of TV Watching: Great For Networks, Not For Your Health".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, November 26, 2018 at 9:57 a.m.

    Wayne the typical TV couch potato---aka "heavy viewer"----about a fifth of the population, spends more like ten hours per day watching TV. Assuming that almost all of this time is "sitting time" these folks must really be in very bad shape. Even worse, the heaviest viewing decile---a tenth of the population and a subset of the heavy viewing "quintile" ----probably devotes more than 12 hours per day to "The Tube". I wonder how many of these people can even get up after a continuous five or six hours sitting on their fannies consuming one talk show after another plus cable news and five or six daytime "court shows"?

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