Swapping TV for activity makes a big impact on how you age, study shows

Join CNN’s Health, However Higher e-newsletter collection. Our seven-part guide will help you ease into a healthy routine, backed by experts.


Swapping out time in entrance of the TV for bodily exercise may not sound like probably the most enjoyable commerce, however it’s related to considerably higher probabilities of wholesome growing old, in accordance with a brand new research.

“Our take-home message is that changing TV time with gentle bodily exercise, moderate-to-vigorous bodily exercise, and sleep (for members with insufficient sleep) is helpful to wholesome growing old,” stated senior research creator Dr. Molin Wang, affiliate professor of medication within the division of epidemiology at Harvard’s T.H. Chan Faculty of Public Well being.

The outcomes are usually not shocking, as many research present that sedentary behaviors have significant impacts on health, stated Dr. Andrew Freeman, director of cardiovascular prevention and wellness at Nationwide Jewish Well being in Denver. Freeman was not concerned on this research.

For this research, researchers analyzed knowledge from the Nurses’ Health Study of greater than 45,000 individuals age 50 or older in 1992 who had been additionally freed from persistent illness, in accordance with the research revealed Tuesday within the journal JAMA Network Open.

Researchers adopted up for 20 years for data on individuals’s time sitting at work, house and watching tv and their hours standing or strolling at house and work. That knowledge was analyzed with knowledge on their growing old.

Wholesome growing old was outlined as dwelling to no less than 70 years outdated and sustaining no less than 4 wholesome domains — reminiscent of no main persistent illness and no impairment in subjective reminiscence, bodily well being and psychological well being, the research stated.

Every extra two hours of sitting to look at TV was related to a 12% lower within the probabilities of growing old in a wholesome manner, the research confirmed. However, including two hours of sunshine bodily exercise at work added a 6% enhance within the odds of wholesome growing old.

Changing one hour of sitting to look at TV with gentle bodily exercise at house or work was related to higher probabilities of wholesome growing old, the research confirmed.

“Vegging out in entrance of the tv, appears to all the time be related to worse outcomes,” Freeman stated. “In fact, it makes physiologic sense that human beings had been by no means meant to sit down in entrance of a display all day lengthy.”

“The extra we sit, the extra issues we get, significantly as we become older,” he added.

Erdark/E+/Getty Photographs

Extra exercise and fewer sitting whereas watching TV might provide you with a greater probability at wholesome growing old, a brand new research confirmed.

A 2017 study confirmed a relationship between time spent sitting and early demise from any trigger. And sedentary time as a child might enhance the danger of coronary heart illness later in life, in accordance with 2023 research.

The issue is especially dangerous when consuming a really great amount of salt, which is typical in an American weight-reduction plan, with out getting sufficient motion to flow into fluid, he added.

These usually unhealthy habits go collectively.

“When individuals sit in entrance of TV, it often brings all these different comorbid actions, like consuming junk meals, TV dinners, failing to attach with others, and it even can interrupt sleep,” Freeman stated.

Time spent seated at a desk or on the lounge sofa additionally takes away alternatives to get out and be lively.

“You’re lacking out on all that bodily exercise, which is actually an unbelievable option to scale back cardiovascular threat and blood stress,” Freeman stated.

If you happen to work eight, 10 and even 12 hours a day in an workplace, it’d really feel tough to get extra motion into your day.

“My very robust suggestion is it is best to think about at work getting a standing desk if you happen to can, or perhaps a treadmill desk if you happen to’re in a position and you’ve got the house,” Freeman stated.

If that’s not a risk, issues like getting up usually or having strolling conferences may help, he stated.

“If you happen to’re sitting down for greater than half-hour at a time, in my e book, that’s in all probability too lengthy, and you actually need to attempt to transfer slightly bit,” Freeman added.

You don’t need to outlaw sitting or watching TV, nevertheless.

Possibly attempt pairing TV with wholesome behaviors reminiscent of watching whereas transferring or consuming a nutritious snack, he stated. Or higher but, set limits for your self.

“There are all these nice instruments and apps obtainable … and lots of people see these as instruments for teenagers, however the reality is, they’re simply nearly as good as for adults,” Freeman stated. “It helps you to maintain monitor of how a lot display time you’ve after which how a lot exercise you’ve all on the identical machine, which is form of neat.”

Our Vinyl Weighs A Ton