Binge watching your favorite television show is entertaining. During the time of quarantine the pandemic, many people simply find themselves watching lots more TV than normal. You may find yourself doing more sedentary things like playing video games or watching screens. This isn’t the best thing for you. In fact, some say it’s best to only watch two hours of screen time per day, no matter your age.
A study linking television time and health leans towards people cutting back to two hours per day of screen time for the healthiest lifestyle. The data showed that people with the lowest overall health risks were those with the least television screen time. They concluded that about eight percent of cardio deaths and six percent of all deaths were associated with this time. Of course, this doesn’t mean just because one watched a lot of television they are on the verge of death. The problem might not even be watching TV. The problem could be that the person is sedentary in all aspects of their life. Television watching means sitting in one location watching a screen. Your body is not usually moving when you are watching a screen. It’s important for these people to take a break and get moving.
Overall Screen Time For Adults
Many adults are tied to technology the entire day. They cannot put a cap on the work they do on their phones and computer. Experts don’t even have an exact number of hours to tell adults they can safely sit at a screen. The thing they can do is tell them to try to cut back. The average adult is looking at 11 hours on a screen per day. This is their phone, their tablet and their television.
Not So Sharp
If you’re watching more than three hours of television a day, you could actually be dulling your brain. This could have to do with the changes in sounds, images and actions on your television. your brain is trying to process them. You’re not interacting with these images like you do when you play a video game or research things online. You’re not as focused. This passive activity is relaxing to many people because you don’t have to think to watch TV. You’re inactive and sedentary. This isn’t good for your overall mental or physical health.
Are You Addicted?
There’s a fine line between an average person that works and plays too much on a screen and a person that is addicted to a screen. Technology addiction hits the same area in your brain as drugs and alcohol. When staring at a screen starts impacting the function of your day and your relationship, you may have a problem.
Setting Your Own Limits
The right amount of television isn’t the same for all people. Cutting back to two hours on a screen doesn’t work for people that do work on a computer then like to watch their favorite show then play on social media. It’s important to know what works for you. Prioritize what is important for you. If technology is keeping you from being active or hanging out with your family, dial it back. Set limits that will help you accomplish the things you need and want in life. Make sure your screen time gives you enough time for sleep, nature and exercise as well. Give yourself the freedom to unplug from the world.
So Many Options
There’s so many entertainment options that it makes the sedentary lifestyle seem pretty nice. You can sit back with almost a dozen different streaming options. Many people have cable with special movie channels. The entire world of entertainment is right there at your fingertips. This can make it tough to turn off the TV and head outside. The important thing is to set limits. You can set aside the shows and specials that really excite you to watch on a special night. Don’t try to watch all 13 new episodes released on your favorite streaming service in one night. If it becomes overwhelming and a problem for you, cut the cord on some of these services. It will be tough, but you’ll be happier that you’re active and healthier rather than stuck to your television or screen.
You can watch a little TV and then get moving on the same day. You can work all day, watch a little screen time, play with your family, and get in a little exercise. It doesn’t have to mean you run a marathon on a daily basis. It’s important to go at your own pace. Walk around the block each night, then increase that to a few miles around your neighborhood. Do exercises while you watch television like lunges or lift arm weights. Lightly clean each day to move a little. Do chores in your yard. It’s important to get in about 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week for your body to stay healthy.
Overall, be cautious of the time you spend in front of your television. You can improve your health both mentally and physically by getting active. Your entire family can join you on this journey to getting away from the screen and getting into a more active lifestyle.