New research suggests watching TV can lead to health issues later in life


PHOENIX- We’ve all heard about the negative effects watching television can have on the brain, but how bad is it really?

Researchers analyzed the link between watching TV and cognitive health in adults aged 50 or older with data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. They used data from participants in 2008-2009, then followed up six years later. After the follow-up test, they concluded that watching TV for more than 3.5 hours per day was associated with poorer verbal memory. 

They also found that watching television can lead to stress. The researchers used examples like the depiction of graphic scenes, violence or the creation of suspense to link TV with stress.

Another study published in JAMA Psychiatry looked at a younger demographic and the long-term effects television can have on the brain. Their conclusion was similar to the one prior, showing that young adults who watch three or more hours of TV a day, and get little exercise, have a greater chance of having cognitive problems later in life.

So bingeing Riverdale and Jane the Virgin is going to decrease your conscious intellectual activity? 

Not exactly.

The television itself is a big part of the problem but its not the only culprit in the situation. Long period of sitting can lead to other health problems as it creates a sedentary lifestyle, which is already becoming a significant public issue. Multiple factors play a role in the effects it can have.

So get up, stretch your legs, go for a walk, play a board game, smell the roses. Anything! Even if it’s for a few minutes. Anything is better than nothing. 

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