Watch TV and Don’t Die Early: Simple Moves to Make Watching TV Healthier

Watching TV can cause premature death. Exercise instead
There’s a new study out which indicates watching three hours or more of TV a day doubles the chances of a premature death. While the exact reason for this isn’t entirely understood at this point, and more research needs to be done, it seems a big part of the problem is the sedentary behavior most people fall into while watching TV.

The conventional wisdom is that the best thing to do is to stop watching so much TV, but that isn’t necessarily the only option out there. Another option would be to change the actual way you watch TV. For those who have shows they aren’t willing to give up, there are some simple steps which can be taken to make watching TV healthier. Here are a few of them:

Light Exercise

Instead of sitting on the couch and slowly becoming a part of it, use your time in front of the TV to get in a bit of light exercise. The exercise doesn’t need to by anything strenuous. Simply getting off the couch and doing something during that period of time will make the entire process of watching TV a lot healthier. Consider doing stretches, yoga, or simply walking in place. Even small amounts of movement will make watching TV much healthier than if you’re sitting for hours without moving at all.

Commercial Breaks

For those who don’t want to move during the show, there’s no excuse not to move about during the commercial breaks. Get into the habit of not remaining in your chair through the commercial breaks. Instead, do 5 minute cleanups around the house. The commercial breaks will give you a chance to do all those little tasks you know need to get done, but you never seem to have the 5 minutes to do. Clean the bathroom sink, tidy up a counter shelf, wipe down a wall with hand prints on it, or take the trash outside. As an added bonus, you’ll end up having a cleaner and more tidy house.


It’s a rare show on TV these days where you actually have to pay full attention to what’s going on. Most shows allow you to miss portions and still know exactly what’s going on. That gives you the opportunity to multitask while watching TV. The multitasking will add a little bit of movement into the routine as you watch TV. For example, you could fold laundry, iron, clip coupons, or work a little on your favorite hobby. Anything you can do to add a little activity to the process will end up being a benefit.

More and more studies are finding the sedentary behavior of TV watching isn’t good for your health. Watching also costs you a lot of money. That being said, the “watch less” or “stop watching” advice isn’t the only option out there, and with a little effort, it’s possible to turn your TV habit into a healthier and more productive activity than it is for the vast majority of people.

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