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TV Watchers Are Unhappy Compared to People Who Watch Less

Healthy To-Do: Just Say No to TV

I will admit after a long day of working and mothering, sitting on the couch, remote in hand, always sounds like the perfect way to wind down and decompress. But I am here to say, don't give into the new opiate of the masses, turn off the boob tube and do something else — it could make you happy.


Watching TV is pleasurable, I am not arguing with that, but a newly released long-term study from the University of Maryland found that those who watch more TV are less happy. The 34-year-long study, involving over 45,000 participants, found that watching TV made viewers happy in the short term, but had no long-term benefits, leaving people a little dissatisfied with their choice to veg on the coach. Watching TV interferes with activities that might be less enjoyable in the moment, but provide long-term satisfaction. The study cited socializing, reading book, and sex as activities happy people did about 30 percent more than the unhappy TV watchers.

We all know that there are surprising health benefits associated with getting it on, but another activity that leaves folks feeling relaxed and pleased with themselves is exercise. Hey, I am FitSugar; so of course I am going to argue the benefits of choosing working out over TV.

So instead of watching an hour of television tonight, try just a 30 minutes. Then do so some yoga, call a friend, get it on with your partner, or read a book. It just might help you become the healthy, happy you.

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