First the experts told us that sitting too long at our computer screens can cut our life spans, due to a lack of exercise and gaining weight. But now they’re saying that watching House of Cards from start to finish is also seriously dangerous for our health—and not just for old folks!
That’s right: An ongoing Spanish study tracking 13,284 affluent, healthy people with an average age of 37 found that people who watch lots of TV are at a much greater risk of dying.
To be precise, “Participants reporting three or more hours a day of television viewing had a twofold higher risk of mortality than those reporting less than one hour a day,” said Dr. Martinez-Gonzalez of the University of Navarra, writing in the Journal of the American Heart Association. Apparently the risk of dying for this youthful group of binge TV-watchers is higher than that for those same-age people who sit at a desk all day, or drive a car for a living!
It gets weirder: Compared to the overall study population, the study participants who watch more than three hours of TV daily are 44 percent more likely to die from heart disease or stroke, 21 percent more likely to die of cancer, and 55 percent more likely to die from something else. The amount of TV watching made the difference; age, sex, smoking, weight, and diet did not.
Why is long-term TV watching so deadly? No one knows. Dr. Martinez-Gonzalez thinks it may be due to people binging on junk food while watching TV, but who does that? No one we know. Um.
Predictably, the experts are advising people to watch less TV and get more exercise to avoid these negative effects. Here at TechHive, we advise you to, at the very least, use your life-shortening TV time on quality shows, or better yet, just read awesome websites like this one instead.