Tag Archives: sitting

tv

Binge Watching TV is Bad for Your Health.

These days, the opportunity to binge-watch your favorite TV shows is literally at your fingertips. There’s Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Fire Stick, AppleTV, Roku, OnDemand – I could continue, but I think you get the point. It may seem harmless to sit and veg out for a few hours while catching up on your favorite sitcoms, and it probably is if it only happens on rare occasions, but researchers shows that 61 percent of TV watchers admit to regular periods of binge-watching. If you watch between two and six episodes of a show in one sitting (the parameters that experts use to define “binge-watching”, the rest of this article is for you.

Weight Gain

We’ll start here, since weight management is kind of our thing. Research shows that for every 2 hours of TV that you watch per day, you’re 23 percent more likely to become obese and 14 percent more likely to develop diabetes. To add to that, the type of shows you watch may impact these numbers further. If you’re regularly watching shows on the Food Network, this can increase your desire to overeat and nosh on unhealthy food choices.

Research also shows that viewers tend to make poorer snack choices when engrossed in the television. If you’re mindlessly munching on chips or candy while you’re glued to the tube, it could inhibit your weight loss and even cause you to pack on the pounds.

Chronic Diseases

It’s not just weight that’s a concern though. Other research shows that binge-watching TV can increase your risk of developing diabetes by up to 14 percent. Doing so also increases the risk of both cancer and heart disease. It’s not the TV itself that’s too blame, but the extended period of sitting.

Sleep Disturbance

Binge watching TV later in the evening can also negatively affect your sleep. Research shows that staring into the fluorescent light of a television or computer screen can result in a harder time falling asleep, an inability to reach REM sleep, and resulting grogginess the next morning. This is because the “blue light” given off by screens disrupts the release of melatonin, the hormone responsible for controlling your sleep cycles.

So what’s a reality TV show loving person to do?

You don’t have to cut out the tube completely, but be smart about your viewing time. Try to watch no more than 2 hours of television at a time. Instead of sitting in one place, get up and walk around the house during commercial breaks; do jumping jacks; or stretch. If possible, watch TV only in the daylight hours. Get your fix in before the sun goes down so the blue light from the screens affects your hormones less.

sitting

Sitting Too Much? How to Counteract Negative Effects with Exercise

With a stay-at-home advisory in Arizona (and all over the world), a lot of us are spending significantly more time at home—and much more time sitting too much.

We’ve touched on this issue before and discussed how reports are describing too much sitting as the new smoking. Well, with the gyms closed and so many people stuck at home, the issue has come up again recently.

review that was published in the scientific journal The Lancet looked at how much exercising you should be doing each day based on how often you’re sitting. Instead of giving a blanket recommendation of 30 minutes per day for at least 5 days a week, these researchers went a step further. Here’s what they found.

Study Basics

Researchers from this review analyzed data from 16 separate research studies. These studies included data from over one million adults over the age of 45 from the United States, Western Europe, and Australia. The researchers compared time spent sitting versus time spent exercising and mortality rates and developed a formula that may be able to counteract the effects of sitting and lead to a healthier life.

The Findings

Based on this data, the researchers concluded that if you spend around 8 hours sitting each day, you should be exercising (and that’s moderate to intense exercise) for at least one hour every day. If you sit for 6 hours, you should be exercising for at least 30 minutes each day.

The numbers may seem daunting, but here’s the good news. An hour of exercise takes up only 4 percent of your whole day. The other good news is that research also shows that this exercise doesn’t have to take place all at once.

If you can’t commit to an hour at a time, you can split your exercise into two half hour sessions or 6 bursts of 10 minutes each. The major goal is to sit less, so anything you can do to get your body moving is a step in the right direction.

As you’re spending more time at home, find ways to keep yourself moving, like cleaning the house, walking your dog, or even turning on some music and dancing in the kitchen while you cook dinner.