Study: Sitting in Front of the TV for Prolonged Periods of Time Dangerous for Seniors

March 28, 2019 | Chris Hughes

Research shows that inactivity furthers decline in physical and mental functioning.

Did your parents tell you, or did you ever tell your children, that television will rot your brain?

Turns out, that may not be far from the truth – for seniors, at least.

One study by George Washington University was conducted over a 10-year period, and it concludes that a sedentary lifestyle with low physical activity and increased TV watching sharply increases the risk of a walking disability.

After the 10-year study period concluded, 30 percent of those 50 to 71 years old at the time the study began reported that they developed a walking disability. Researchers found that the more time those people spent watching television was “significantly related to increased disability within all levels of physical activity.”  Those who reported less than three hours of physical activity per week were at even greater risk for a mobility issue.

This study conducted by University College London in the United Kingdom studied seniors over a six-year period. It found that ones who watched over 3.5 hours of television per day had an average decline of 8 to 10 percent in word- and language-related memory. Those who watched fewer hours of television were found to only have a 4 to 5 percent average decline in those capabilities.

At the same time, this study shows that a general sedentary lifestyle is the second-leading risk factor to mortality, trailing only smoking. Prolonged sitting has been found to raise the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

This is why we take activities seriously at Lake Gibson Village. We offer a variety of activities for residents, including exercise programs with a personal trainer, games, and trips, which promote as much movement as possible for each of our residents.

Experts recommend at least 3 hours of moderate exercise per week for a healthy adult. If you are looking to get more active, always talk to your doctor before starting a fitness regimen.

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