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Five Reasons to Turn Off the TV

Update Date: Aug 16, 2014 09:05 AM EDT

With so many different television shows on air today, people are spending more and more time sitting in front of a screen. As entertaining as these shows might be, sitting for a prolonged period of time has been linked to an increased risk of obesity. If gaining extra pounds does not scare you, here are five more reasons to turn off the TV:

1. Increases Premature Death Risk

According to several studies, watching too much TV can increase one's risk of premature death. One study headed by Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez, MD, PhD, MPH reported that watching three or more hours of TV per day can double a person's risk of dying early when compared to people who watch little to no TV.

"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," said Martinez-Gonzalez, according to MSN. "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."

2. Ruins Sleep

In many people's homes, there is usually more than one TV set. The second or third sets are typically in bedrooms. Even though lying down in bed while watching TV can be very comfortable, these interesting shows can stimulate the body to produce hormones. These hormones can hinder people's process of falling asleep. In addition, the light coming from the TV screen can disrupt the body's circadian rhythm.

3. Ruins Your Day

TV can trigger both positive and negative emotions. While some shows might make people feel happy, other kinds of content can trigger symptoms of anxiety and depression. Studies have found that the more TV people watched, the more likely they had some kind of psychological health problems. The TV watching can then worsen those problems.

4. Introduces Bad Foods and Eating Habits

People who watch more TV are exposed to more commercials. Many of these commercials are for fast food chains or junk food. Even though the first commercial might not get people to go buy these foods, enough exposure could influence them to do so in the future. Watching TV also promotes snacking and in many of these situations, people reach for unhealthy snacks.

5. Hurts Baby's Verbal Skills

For parents with children of any age, watching more TV means that they are spending less time talking. Less communication can hurt relationships, especially if parents do not take the extra time to talk to their children everyday. For young babies, speaking less can hinder their vocabulary development and verbal skills.

The next time you pick up the remote, think about what else you can be doing with your time.

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