Well, just when we thought all those relaxing hours of television after a long day of work seemed like a great way to relieve the daily stress, someone had to come up with facts to ruin the whole thing.
In an ongoing study from the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain, 13,284 people with an average age of 37 have been observed for a period of over eight years, and the results have determined that people who watch TV for extended periods of time a day are much more likely to die sooner than those who don’t.
Dr. Martinez Gonzalez, a leading researcher of the study, wrote in the Journal of the American Heart Association that “participants reporting three or more hours a day of television viewing had a twofold higher risk of mortality than those reporting less than one hour a day.”
According to a story on NBC, “For every two extra hours of watching TV over and above one hour a day, the volunteers were 44 percent more likely to die from heart disease or stroke, 21 percent more likely to die of cancer and 55 percent more likely to die from something else, and that’s taking in account their age, sex, whether they smoked, whether they were obese and whether they ate a healthy, Mediterranean diet.”
Now, granted, a lot of this happens because the same people who are compulsively watching TV shows usually don’t have the healthiest of lifestyles. A sedentary life often leads to over-eating (and let’s face it, when we do, it’s usually not the best food for us), lack of exercise and – as a consequence of this – much more time to let those pesky endorphins chill and let our familiar sulky behavior rule the day. Then, what can we do with our bummed out selves? Perhaps taking another good look at the second season of House of Cards might cheer us up.
Ah shit, right; that might kill us now.
But, just what exactly are we supposed to do to address this problem? Live our lives? Deal with our responsibilities, feelings and terrifying truths? Wouldn’t that cause the distress that our heart and clogged arteries are trying to avoid in the first place? Isn’t that the whole reason we get Netflix for?
On a personal note – and possible silver lining some of you might relate to – there are probably several other habits that are likely to kill me before binge-watching TV can finally take me. And I’ll be damned if I won’t be re-watching some of my favorite shows on my way to an entertaining deathbed.