Health risks of Watching TV
Watching TV was found to be even worse for your health than sitting at a desk, according to recent research findings reported a recent article published on the BBC website (27 July 2016*) ahead of the Olympics. Watching TV for more than three hours was associated with an increased risk of premature death for all but the most active, as a result of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers, which have all been linked to inactivity.
Whilst sitting at a desk all day is bad for your health, the researchers suggest that watching TV is even more likely to be bad for your health because people tend to snack while they watch, or because they are more likely to watch TV after eating their evening meal which might affect their metabolism.
It could, they say, also be a sign of a more unhealthy lifestyle in general.
The Olympic effect on health
A study by Dr Pedro Hallal of Brazil’s Federal University of Pelotas also looked at the effect of the Olympics on the general public’s activity levels.
He said that, despite a blip around the Games where people temporarily take up a sport, there is no long-term legacy.
“There’s been no health legacy of the Olympics reported ever, but it’s the perfect time to talk about human movement.”
Health in the workplace – What employers can do
Scientists reported in the BBC article quoted, said governments should ensure their policies encouraged physical activity – citing the example of a bus scheme where stops are placed further apart to encourage walking – and employers should make it easier for staff to be active during their working day – such as flexible lunch breaks and the provision of showering facilities.
This research should be a wake up call for employers to promote health in the workplace and at home – through improved exercise and movement. Occupational health providers quite rightly point to the fact that employees who look after themselves well are more likely to meet targets and less likely to take time off due to problems related to sedentary lifestyles.