Have you ever calculated how much TV you actually watch? You may be surprised.
Letís look at it this way; if we sit down to watch just three hours a day (and some of us watch way more than that), we will have spent 21 hours of our week - thatís about 45 days a year - just sitting there doing nothing.
Letís take that one step further. If you live to be eighty years old, you will have spent between eight and ten years of your life in front of that screen, and we haven't even mentioned computer screens and smart phones!
Now, I'm not knocking television. It educates, entertains and makes us laugh. It helps us to wind down after a hard day, but it becomes a problem when it starts to affect other parts of our life.
For example - do you complain that your days fly past too quickly? Do you lament that you don't have enough time for things like exercise, study, home repairs, hobbies, or to start that business you've always talked about? Do you feel that you're not having quality time or conversations with your family?
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TV is great if we pick and choose only those shows that we're really keen to watch, but most of us sit there flicking through the channels complaining that thereís nothing on, and watching anyway. Why? Because itís easy, yet like any habit itís really hard to break, and we need to work on our willpower to overcome it.
So whatís the solution?
- Some people choose to get rid of their television altogether. A bit extreme perhaps (but I secretly wish I could bring myself to do it.)
- We could plan our viewing ahead of time and pick say, two shows to watch, and complete a worthwhile activity before or after watching.
- Children could choose a couple of favourite programs across the week as an incentive to get chores or homework done.
- I don't like commercials, so I make use of the breaks to get things done around the house.
- I can see my television from the kitchen, so I can prepare meals or wash dishes while I watch.
Our increasingly sedentary lifestyle is having a negative impact on our health and we need to find ways of reducing that sitting time. All it takes is a bit of willpower to cut down on our TV time, but we know itís easier said than done.
Perhaps we need to consider this Ė We'd all like to live a long and healthy life, and when we're eighty years old and looking back over our time, will we remember fondly the ten years we spent in front of the television? I think not.