From the  FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton

Posted on June 25, 2014 by Stone Hearth News 


Stone Hearth News have published an article which says, “Adults who watch TV for three hours or more each day may double their risk of premature death compared to those who watch less TV, according to new research published in the journal of the American Heart Association.

Shock horror! Last night we had an hour of Emmerdale, an hour of Coronation, and 30 minutes fo EastEnders and I added some BBC News on Channel 80 – a good half an hour, to catch up with world affairs. You might say I was ‘over the top’ but I was in bed, does that count?’

Frankly without that trip down the Soap Lane, like most fibromites I would still be awake at 5am not having had a wink of sleep. (I blame it on the football personally – it has all been all over the place for two weeks and what with Wimbledon and thank heavens the Royal Chelsea Flower Show was over.

Sorry but some of us are not interested in seeing football – maybe the England results but this time it was not worth even looking at that. Why not switch the soaps or the sport to BBC 3 and ITV 3. It is not as though they do not have more channels and these often have repeats.

Both ITV and BBC get us hooked on the serial soaps and then limit us so we then need a double dose.

There is even a new book by Stan Berenstain called “The Berestain Bears and TOO MUCH TV”.   When Mama Bear decides her family spends too much time in front of the TV, she bans it for a week. Then the Bear family finds other ways to have fun and keep busy, so they watch less when TV is allowed again–and they do not even miss it.

Stone Hearth News also says, “Television viewing is a major sedentary behavior and there is an increasing trend toward all types of sedentary behaviors,” said Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., the study’s lead author and professor and chair of the Department of Public Health at the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain.

“Our findings are consistent with a range of previous studies where time spent watching television was linked to mortality.”

Worrying facts and figures ,,,, Researchers assessed 13,284 young and healthy Spanish university graduates (average age 37, 60 percent women) to determine the association between three types of sedentary behaviors and risk of death from all causes: television viewing time, computer time and driving time.

The participants were followed for a median 8.2 years. Researchers reported 97 deaths, with 19 deaths from cardiovascular causes, 46 from cancer and 32 from other causes.

The risk of death was twofold higher for participants who reported watching three or more hours of TV a day compared to those watching one or less hours. This twofold higher risk was also apparent after accounting for a wide array of other variables related to a higher risk of death.

Researchers found no significant association between the time spent using a computer or driving and higher risk of premature death from all causes. Researchers said further studies are needed to confirm what effects may exist between computer use and driving on death rates, and to determine the biological mechanisms explaining these associations.

Time for me to worry then. I am glued to my computer – it is my work.

“As the population ages, sedentary behaviors will become more prevalent, especially watching television, and this poses an additional burden on the increased health problems related to aging,” Martinez-Gonzalez said.

“Our findings suggest adults may consider increasing their physical activity, avoid long sedentary periods, and reduce television watching to no longer than one to two hours each day.”

The study cited previous research that suggests that half of U.S. adults are leading sedentary lives.


The consequences of physical inactivity are staggering.

  • More of us are overweight.
    Adult (and childhood) obesity/overweight level continues to increase: 68% of all Adults are obese or overweight.
  • It is more difficult today to create an active lifestyle.

People are less active due to technology and better mass transportation.

Sedentary jobs have increased 83% since 1950; Physically active jobs now make up only about 25% of our workforce. That is 50% less than 1950.

Our average work week is longer. Americans work 47 hours a week – 164 more hours a year than 20 years ago.

  • Extra weight costs us physically and financially.
    Obesity costs American companies $225.8B per year in health-related productivity losses.The average healthcare cost exceeds $3,000 per person annually. An obese employee costs employer additional $460 to $2,500 in medical costs and sick days per year

The consequences and problems from our overweight society are sobering. However, we can all make changes. Below is the good news about physical activity and why moving for 30 minutes a day can change your life for the better.

Do you want to add years to your life? Or add life to your years?

The American Heart Association recommends 30-minutes of moderate activity, but three 10-minute periods of activity are as beneficial to your overall fitness as one 30-minute session. This is achievable!

Physical activity may also help encourage you to spend some time outdoors. Sunlight on your skin helps your body produce vitamin D, which brings many added health benefits.

Can I watch the soaps if I do a bit of jigging and stretching while I am watching TV? Where there is a will there is a way…


It is not only the adults who are in danger while sitting still, but the new worry is the time our children who spend sitting while playing with tablets and inactive TV games.

What happened to skipping and even marbles keeps you on the move.

Limit Tube Time and Get Your Kids (and the Whole Family) Moving

Experts recommend that kids get no more than 1–2 hours of TV/computer/video games a day. But did you know that most kids today get 4–6 hours of these combined things daily?

You know your child needs to watch less TV or put down their computer or iPod, but you’re dreading the screaming, yelling and crying that may follow telling them to get up and do something. First and foremost, remember YOU are the parent. You run the show and it’s your job is to set limits. We know it’s not easy, and each child is different, so what works for one child, may need a slight change for another.

Here are some ideas about how to limit your family’s sedentary time:

  1. Identify free times for activity during the week. Learn how to find time to getthe whole family heart healthy.
  2. Make a plan to add physical activity to your daily routine. Be prepared to offer alternative age-appropriate activities to TV or video games after school. Make physical activity a regular part of your family’s schedule. Write it on a weekly calendar for the whole family.
  3. Be active with your kids. Experts say that what kids want more than anything else is time with their parents. To give them that, don’t just send them out to play — go play with them! Develop a set of activities for you and your family that are always available regardless of weather. Try these easy tips to get active!
  4. Limit TV, computer, video game time. Don’t position your furniture so the TV is the main focus of the room. Remove televisions from bedrooms. And remember to avoid using TV as a reward or punishment.
  5. Plan TV watching in advance. Go through the TV guide and pick the shows you want to watch. Turn the TV on for those shows and turn it off afterwards. Don’t just watch whatever comes on next.
  6. Practice what you preach. Your kids won’t accept being restricted to two hours of TV watching if you can veg out for four hours. The best way to influence your kids’ behavior is through example.

All of these might sound easy enough; they just take a little thought and a lot of practice. Do what you can as often as you can.

Here are some ideas that your kids can do on their own or the whole family can do together:

  • family game night
  • shooting some hoops
  • walking the dog
  • exploring a nearby park
  • turning on the stereo and dancing around the house
  • find a great place to play near you using Kaboom
  • chores that require some physical activity

Remember, you can do it! Be strong, have a plan and do not back down. Your child’s health is worth fighting for.

Co-authors are Francisco Basterra Gortari, M.D., Ph.D.; Maira Bes Rastrollo, Pharm.D., Ph.D.; Alfredo Gea, Pharm.D.; Jorge Nunez Cordoba, M.D., Ph.D.; and EstefaniaToledo, M.D., Ph.D. All belong to CIBER-OBN a research network funded by the Instituto de Salud Carlos III (Official Spanish agency for funding biomedical research). Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

Grants from Instituto de Salud Carlos III, regional government grants and the University of Navarra funded the study.

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at




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