The Sofa Is Not Your Friend

Spending hours idly watching TV or staring at a computer screen can shorten your life.

A new study has found that people who spend a lot of time watching TV are at much greater risk for death from cardiovascular disease. You might expect that, obesity and inactivity being major causes of heart problems, but the researchers found the health risk was huge even among those who regularly exercised.

In a study in Australia, scientists interviewed nearly 9,000 people about their health and TV habits. Six years later, they tracked down the same people and found that 87 of them had died.

Using the data from the victims, and adjusting for other factors, the researchers found that those who watched four hours or more of TV per day had an 80 percent greater risk for cardiovascular disease and a 46 percent higher risk of death from all causes than those who watched less than two hours per day.

“The message here is that in addition to promoting regular exercise, we also need to promote avoiding long periods of sitting, such as spending long hours in front of the computer screen,” Dr. David Dunstan told the Los Angeles Times. “When we’re in that sitting posture, we’re not using our muscles, and we know from extensive evidence that muscle contractions are important for the body’s regulatory processes, such as the ability to break down glucose and use it as energy.”

(Of course, this study doesn’t apply to time spent enjoying anewscafe.com. We’re good for you!)

Full story here.

  • Mark Your Calendars for Feb. 10, when First 5 Shasta presents a FREE public lecture on Strengthening Fatherhood. Dr. Kyle Pruett, an internationally known child psychiatrist, will talk about how to be a better father and about his recent book “Partnership Parenting.” The program will be 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Gaia Hotel in Anderson. For more, send e-mail to info@first5shasta.org.
  • Redding’s own William V. Hill Jr. has been named regional representative of the year by the FAA Safety Team, and says he’ll work even harder to promote aviation safety. Way to go!
  • DVDs We’ve Seen: “(500) Days of Summer,” an occasionally amusing film about a young guy’s obsession with a flaky girl named Summer. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who’s so good in most films, is okay, and Zooey Deschanel is lovely, but the movie never clicked for me.
  • Rules for Successful Living #15: Handling poisonous reptiles will not get you into Heaven.

Tips appreciated: Send news tidbits to steveb.anewscafe@gmail.com.

Steve Brewer

is the author of CUTTHROAT and 17 other books. Read more of his columns at http://stevebrewer.blogspot.com/, or follow him on Facebook.

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