TV is a seemingly harmless villain that is slowly killing people right in the comfort of their own homes. This might seem funny, but scientists never joke around and this is actually dead serious. Researchers revealed many health-wrecking effects and behavioral problems related to watching TV. It’s time to leave your life on the couch behind, homey. After all, no one wants to die sooner.
TV Gives You High Cholesterol
According to a 1990-study investigating the effects of watching TV or playing video games on children, those who watched TV for a longer period of time had increased cholesterol levels. Not only that, shockingly, kids who spent 4 hours per day in front of the TV were approximately 4 times more at risk of developing heart disease later on.
The main reason why the kids who watched more TV had higher cholesterol levels is that they’re also rarely engaged in a physical activity and usually eat an unhealthy, unbalanced diet.
TV Makes You Violent
To monitor and document the impact of media violence on kids, Rowel Huesmann started a long-term study in 1960. One decade later, Professor Huesmann discovered a solid link between, violence seen on TV and violence done in the real world. It was found that kids who watched more violence on TV had higher levels of aggressive behavior than those who didn’t watch it.
Although the debate over whether media violence is a public threat or not is still ongoing, the correlation is believed to be very much like that of smoking cigarettes and developing lung cancer. Meaning that exposure to violent media is a major contributing factor to becoming more violent.
TV MAKES YOU DUMBER
According to research from Johns Hopkins University, kids who spent more than 2 hours per day watching TV (particularly those who have one in their bedrooms) scored remarkably lower on tests than those who didn’t watch as much TV. It was also found that having a computer connected to the internet increased the scores.
Moreover, a different study found that kids and teenagers who spend the longest periods of time watching TV attained the lowest level of educational success. This New Zealand study included about one thousand babies (randomly chosen) and followed them until they turned 26 years old. Those who watched the least TV had higher chances of graduating both high school and college.
TV LOWERS SPERM COUNT
Researchers from Harvard School of Public Health found that men who follow a sedentary lifestyle that particularly included too much TV had 44% lower sperm counts than men who didn’t spend much time watching TV. At less than 3 hours per day or 20 a week, a man can reach such low sperm count levels.
On the other hand, men who engaged in physical activities for at least 14 hours per week had the highest sperm count levels. However, the quality of the sperm remained the same. Researchers explain that an important factor is that people who watch TV are more exposed to food commercials, which stimulate appetite, making them eat more and feel hunger more often.
TV TURNS YOU INTO A CRIMINAL
A British study involving more than 11,000 babies born in 2000-2002 revealed that kids who watched a minimum of 3 hours a day of TV were more likely to engage in stealing, bullying, or another antisocial activity. However, no statistical connection was found when observing kids who played more than 3 hours of video games a week.
Researchers explain that one reason why TV could be the culprit of higher levels of criminal activity later in life is that the aired content is loaded with violence. Another New Zealand study found that the rate of violent scenes per hour is 8, on average, with a higher rate in kids’ programs (cartoons or otherwise).
TV LOWERS YOUR CHANCES OF SURVIVING COLON CANCER
According to a study involving more than 1,500 patients who received colorectal cancer treatment, those who watched more TV before they were diagnosed with cancer had higher chances to die within 5 years than patients who watched little to no TV.
Nevertheless, no direct link was found between patients’ deaths and their TV habits prior to diagnosis. Research from the US National Cancer Institute showed a relatively solid link between exercise, TV, and patient survival rates after examining more than 566,000 cases.
It was found that people who watched more television had increased risk of dying from colorectal cancer, yet, the links weren’t statistically relevant. Well, we can conclude on behalf of these valuable studies that some exercise is always better than no exercise at all.
TV INHIBITS SLEEP
The Harvard School of Public Health and MassGeneral Hospital for Children collaborated to study the impacts of several factors, including watching television, during early childhood and pregnancy. Researchers looked into the amount of time older kids spent watching TV and whether the children had a television in their bedroom.
The results showed that every hour spent watching TV resulted in 7 fewer minutes of sleep while those who sleep in a room with a television had half an hour less of sleep! Moreover, it seemed that boys were more strongly affected than girls.
TV DECREASES LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT
A couple of different studies have revealed that the longer amount of time a baby spends staring at the TV, the more slowly they learn to talk.
In the first study by Seattle Children’s Research Institute, over 300 babies wore audio recorders for up to 16 hours and researchers observed that every hour spent in front of a television resulted in a remarkable decrease in the number of words the babies heard, about 770 fewer words per recording session. This means that their vocalization is eventually slowed down.
The other study found that babies learn to talk better from live conversations rather than virtual ones. Unlike when introduced to a live speaker, the babies weren’t able to show any improved ability when they were placed in front of the TV.
TV MAKES YOU DRINK MORE
Scientists from Canada and the Netherlands conducted a study involving 80 males between the ages of 18 to 29, the participants were divided into several groups and were asked to watch TV with different levels of alcohol consumption on screen.
The results were that young men who watched commercials or movies featuring the most alcohol scenes drank 1.5 more bottles on average than those who watch ones which didn’t include any.
The researchers admitted that they found no evidence of long-term effects due to watching TV but the short-term changes were very obvious though, saying that such movies or commercial could impact subsequent thinking and craving in drinkers.
TV KILLS YOU EARLY
No one wants to attend their own funeral sooner, so it might be wise to cut down on watching TV. According to an Australian study, watching TV can make you welcome death early. It was found that spending a daily 6 hours in front of TV can steal 4.8 years from your life! With every hour taking 22 minutes off your life after 25 years old.
Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health found that spending over 3 hours a day in front of the TV or doing any other sedentary activity puts you at 13% higher risks of dying early. The reasons of death will most likely be heart disease or diabetes.