Did you know that TV can actually shorten your life. Researchers in Australia studied a group of 9,000 individuals. They were separated into 3 groups. 1. Those that watch more than 4 hours of TV a day, 2. Those that watch between 2 and 4 hours and 3. those that watch less than 2 hours a day. In the end the group that watched 4 or more hours was 80% more likely to develop deadly heart disease than those in the less than 2 hour group. 80 percent! That is huge. The explanation seems to be related to the act of sitting. People are sitting too much in their daily lives. We move from sitting at a desk at the office to sitting in front of the TV at night. This could be expanded to screen time in general.
Do you know that on average people watch over 4 hours of TV and spend another 4 hours on the computer/video games - that's per day. If you sleep for 8 hours that means you are spending half of your waking time in front of a screen (or all of your leisure time if you work 8 hours a day!!). It also means that we are in deep trouble if we don't help our kids stop the trend. For more information about how this in affecting us check out the book the Plug-In Drug.
Why not spend a week in digital detox. (Actually the official digital detox week started on Monday April 19th and it ends Sunday April 25th.) That means spend the week eliminating non-essential screen time. (That is outside of the work environment) No facebook, no twitter, no computer games, no TV. Go out and talk to your neighbours. Walk or ride your bike. Get reconnected with the outside world.
Here are a couple more media-free activities:
1. Make a big indoor tent and sleep in it.
2. Go on a scavenger hunt.
3. Visit the library.
5. Throw a party to celebrate digital detox week!
Until next time,
Tara Annesley is a Naturopathic Doctor at Rise Up For Health. She is passionate about health in general and especially for families. With a special interest in fertility and birth she helps families take an active role in their health. For more information please visit our website www.riseupforhealth.com.