A study from Australia reports that every hour you spend watching television increases your risk of heart disease by 18%. “What has happened is that a lot of the normal activities of daily living that involved standing up and moving the muscles in the body have been converted to sitting,” Dr. David Dunstan says in a news release.
It also contends that each hour of TV is also associated with an 11% increased risk of death from all causes, and a 9% increased risk of cancer death.
Let’s do the math. The average person watches five hours of television per day. If Dr. Dunstan’s theory is true, our risk of heart disease nearly doubles each day.
It’s a good example of framing a study in a way to get the most media coverage. The study is actually about the lack of exercise that people get. It’s true, much of their day is spent sitting watching TV, but a lot of people in America’s cubicle farms — work — are sitting, too. Theoretically is your work increasing the chance of death? Yes.
But the authors said they focused on TV because it’s a leisure activity. Still, sitting and reading a book for an hour, could also increase your risk of death.