Tip #14 Cutting Back on Couch Time will Increase Your Life Span

Dec 22

We all sit on our butts too much these days. Between our office job, Googling, Facebooking, playing video games, and watching TV, few of us can complain that we don’t get enough opportunity to just sit and relax. This habit of parking our rears is apparent through all generations – from young to old. In fact, one of the biggest dangers of the internet and digital technology may be it’s negative effect on our health.

Here are some interesting statistics about the state of our health due to sedentary living, as compiled by U.S.-based organization Medical Billing and Coding:

  • The average North American sits 9.3 hours per day (versus 7.7 hours of sleep);
  • A person who sits more than six hours per day is up to 40% more likely to die within 15 years than someone who sits less than three hours;
  • Those who sit three hours or more per day watching TV are 64% more likely to die from heart disease, and;
  • Of those who watch three hours per day, those who exercise are no slimmer than those who don’t.

The solution to our life-shortening habits is, actually, quite simple. We need to turn off the TV, or whatever screen engages us most, and get off the couch. The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines recommend kids include at least one hour of physical activity per day, and adults at least 2.5 hours per week. These may be helpful for some, but how many parents are actually keeping track of their kids’ activity? Probably very few. Rather than wringing hands over the amount of time kids are getting vigorous exercise, parents might be better off keeping track of how many hours their kids are sitting watching TV, YouTube videos, or playing video games. Less time in front of a screen will likely translate to more time on their feet.

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2 comments

  1. Love this post. While my kids do get in lots of physical activity, we do really watch the amount of time they’re in front of a screen. I think it’s so important, not only for them but for us as well (she types sitting in front of her screen)

  2. I hear ya’. We all love our screens but knowing when to unplug and get off our rear-ends is key.