The first study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, looked at 12,000 adults in Australia and analyzed a whole pile of data about their general health, how much time they exercise, whether they smoke, their waist measurement, and how many hours every day they spend watching TV. The bottom line was pretty scary: for every hour of TV watched after the age of 25, life expectancy would drop nearly 22 minutes. Put a little differently, someone who watches 6 hours of TV per day might die 4.8 years younger than someone else who didn’t watch TV. Oh, and pumping iron and spinning classes didn’t do much to offset those depressing results.
The second study, which looked at data gathered from nearly 800,000 individuals, may be even more scary since it measured not only time in front of the TV, but time sitting while at work (excuse me while I get up and walk around for a bit). Those who sat the most had double the risk of developing diabetes, 50% higher risk of developing heart disease and of dying prematurely. And again, regular exercise doesn’t seem to mitigate those results (although it’s possible that not exercising would have made the negative results of all that sitting even worse).
So put your tennis shoes on, take a walk, and think of a bunch of ways you can reduce your sitting time.