Not only is TV one of the biggest killers of productivity, it could also be shortening your lifespan. According to a new study, every hour you spend watching TV decreases your lifespan by 22 minutes after the age of 25. Now, the boob tube may not actually be killing you faster, but researchers did find a correlation between lots of TV watching and shorter lifespans — for example, people who watched six hours of TV a day lived five years less than people who don't watch TV.
This could have something to do with a sedentary lifestyle (if you're watching six hours of TV a day, you're probably not exercising), and/or the probability that people who watch a lot of TV are isolated, lonely, and depressed. Treat your marathon TV sessions like you would your epic gaming matches — take breaks to stretch, exercise, and tap into your social side. It could help you live longer!
- Take breaks more often — Whether you're coding, blogging, gaming, or watching TV, you should make a habit of taking breaks often. Even better, do some sit-ups and/or push-ups during commercials, which not only keeps your muscles active, but it can burn more calories than just sitting alone, and prevent . . . other, more embarrassing conditions.
- Enforce a time limit — Decide how long you'll watch before you tune in, and stick to your time limit. You can always DVR your favorite shows, and come back to pick up where you left off previously. Once your time is up, go take a walk, meet some friends at the arcade, or take your dog outside for some quality park playtime.
- Stretch — Every 15 minutes or so, get up and stretch your muscles. This will not only help to prevent cramps, but it will get your blood moving and stave off clots.
- Skip the junk food — Don't mindlessly nosh on chips and candy while watching TV. If you must snack, choose a healthy alternative like fruit. You're already sitting instead of exercising, why do more damage by eating bad food on top of it?!
- Drink water — Skip the soda and down some water during commercials. Not only will this hydrate your body, but it's likely you'll have to take more bathroom breaks (which helps to accomplish tip number one!).
- Exercise — You could always pop in a game like DDR or Your Shape: Fitness Evolved if you're not fond of the gym, but taking a walk around your 'hood or riding a bike to work instead of driving is a good way to kick off healthy workout habits.