Television viewing is one of the key factors for putting on weight. Many people claim that they don’t have time to work out or cook healthy meals, yet they do find the time to watch hours of TV programs. Indian children watch on average of 10 hours of television a week. This does not include video games or computer use so with school a better part of their routine is sedentary. Adults do not fare much better.
There are clear linkages between the TV viewing times and increased diabetes and heart disease. Basically sitting for long hours is not good for you.
Here are 6 signs that you are watching too much TV.
1. You’ve turned into a recluse. If you can’t commit to a night out with your friends because you don’t want to miss the latest episodes of your favorite shows you may have an addiction to TV. Hanging out with friends and family can combat loneliness and put you in a better mood. Plus, time with buddies may even help you live longer, according to the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. So don’t be obsessed with the people on the screen — get out and meet real people.
2. There’s a dent in your couch where your butt usually goes. If your couch is looking increasingly lopsided, it might be a sign that you’re spending too much time parked on its cushions. Don’t just flip them over or switch your position to fix the problem—get off the couch! Move while watching —think jumping jacks, push-ups, sit-ups, squats and lunges, surya namaskars. Even sitting in vajrasana is a better option. At least make it a point to get moving during ad breaks.
3. You find yourself picking up food from out so you have more time to sit in front of the TV. If you’re picking up vada pav or ordering some pizza so that you won’t have the hassle of buying veggies for cooking you need to change this habit. Eating outside foods is a sure recipe for weight gain. The calories and fat in restaurant foods are considerable more. Record a show to watch later so you’ll have time to make that healthy meal before settling in for the evening.
Eating all of your meals in front of the television is not a good habit. You tend to overeat because you are not paying attention to your food. You are zoning out, and not interacting with the family during meals.
4. You mindlessly keep flipping channels and after hours and have no idea what you’ve been watching. You keep changing channels until something catches your attention, then you change again during the ad breaks and keep repeating this for hours. If you find yourself doing this and you find yourself thinking that you don’t have the time to eat right or exercise, you need to prioritize. Pick your favourite 2 or 3 top television shows and make time for exercise. Alternately set a daily limit for yourself—two hours of TV and then it’s time to do something else.
5. Advertisements make you crave junk foods. If you find yourself wanting the foods advertised during the ads you are headed for trouble since most of the foods you see advertised are processed junk foods. The less TV you watch, the less bombarding messages you will view.
6. You find yourself daydreaming that you could be famous and star in your own TV show. You might be famous one day but won’t get there by sitting in front of the TV!
TV definitely has its place in the modern world, but your health trumps entertainment. If you recognize yourself in this list it may be time to admit you have a problem. Luckily, the TV habit can be broken and when it is, your life will get a lot healthier.