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Simple Steps to Increase Your Life Expectancy

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Updated April 28, 2014

9 of 10

Turn Off Your TV for a Longer Life Expectancy
Turn Off Your TV

Turn Off Your TV

Ryan McVay / Getty Images
If life expectancy and television watching aren't linked, I'd be shocked. Of course, I can't prove that TV and life expectancy are linked (no one has done a study comparing the life expectancy of TV-watchers and non-watchers, probably because they can't find enough non-watchers for a good study). I really do think that cutting back on television watching would improve most people's health and (therefore) increase their life expectancy. Here's a couple of reasons:
  • Watching TV makes you inactive. You just sit there burning as few calories as possible, which could lead to weight problems.
  • TV makes you eat more junk food. People who are watching TV eat more than those who don't. It's a fact.
  • TV makes you antisocial. You are at home, zoned in, instead of talking with real people, face-to-face.
  • TV is stressful. The news and many shows are filled with stressful stories. Avoid these, and you may feel things are not so bad after all.
  • TV keeps you from doing other things. This is the big one for me. The average person watches something like four hours of TV every day. That is 28 hours a week or more than 1,400 hours a year. If we all just put that time in to something else (exercise, volunteering, talking with our children), think of what a different world it would be.
Of course, I can't tell you how many years of life you will gain if you quit watching TV (it depends on your weight and what you do with the extra time), but I can tell you that you will gain back around 1,400 hours each year (on average).

Read More: Turn Off Your TV

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