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Watching Too Much TV - Know How It Is Bad For You!

MBBS, Post Graduate Diploma in Diabetology (PGDD)
General Physician, Chennai  •  20 years experience
Watching Too Much TV - Know How It Is Bad For You!

We've probably heard about it, read it and even watched it a few times - devices like TV and laptop take a toll on our health. But are the studies backed with statistics applicable to us? What duration crosses the limit between acceptable and dangerous. Given that both these devices are entwined in our lives not only to entertain, but also make our lives easy, how much can you really avoid them? The reality is that you can't. So here is a quick look at what impacts you the most and how you can manage it best.

1. Increased eye irritability: We are quite used to multi-screen viewing these days. We work on our laptops or iPads while we watch TV at home. While this may seem like a skilled process in multi-brain functionality, but it is subjecting our eyes continuously to artificial light, making us blink less often. Often extending to over 12 hours a day, a mix or laptop and TV viewing can cause dry eyes, irritability, and reduced vision problems.

2. Increased obesity: Having access to everything from groceries to jewelry online makes it unnecessary to move out of the house on a Sunday. This is a boon and a bane in its own right. Easy access means spending lesser time standing in supermarket queues but more time in front of the TV. This can lead to lethargy and obesity. This risk is very real in children and we are battling with an entire generation on the brink of obesity and related problems. Did you know that childhood obesity risk increases by 60% when kids watch one hour of TV! Don't even try the math for a year's worth of television!

3. Increased affinity for junk food: TV has more side effects than you think. It automatically makes us reach out for the most harmful foods that taste great but hardly have any nutritional value. From chips to pizzas to burgers to quick fix noodles some with extra cheese others with a copious quantity of salts slowly add harmful toxins to the body. The worst part is that we are so lost in our work or TV that we don't realize the quantity we are chewing down.

4. It affects your sleep cycle: Having these handy late in the night also confuses our body with artificial light, throwing our sleep cycle off balance.

5. The one-off cases are real for some people: We often hear horror stories about some 12 years old whose thighs burned up because of excessive laptop use. There are other stories about a man who came home after a workout and accidently touched his laptop's power cord to be electrocuted. There are other stories linking these gadgets to cancer risks. These stories may be played up by the media for viral effect but the fact remains that you never know when you can be that 'somebody'. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an ophthalmologist and ask a free question.

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