A cosy night in front of The X Factor might seem like the harmless option, but it could be taking years off your life.
Every hour you spend watching television over the age of 25 reduces your life expectancy by 22 minutes, according to a new study by Australian researchers. Veg out for six hours a day and that’s 4.8 years shaved off your life.
While TV viewing has long been associated with cardiovascular disease, this is the first time that its impact on life expectancy has been quantified.
“TV viewing time may have adverse health consequences that rival those of lack of physical activity, obesity and smoking,” the study found.
“These findings suggest that substantial loss of life may be associated with prolonged TV viewing time among Australian adults.”
The study, which appears in the upcoming October issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine, used data from the National Bureau of Statistics and the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study.
Lack of exercise can be just as bad for your health as lighting up a cigarette, a separate study from Harvard found.
Researchers say sedentary, non-active lifestyles are responsible for a whopping 5.3 million deaths worldwide, and the issue should be treated as a pandemic.