Television shortens your life by 22 minutes for every hour you spend glued to the screen (smoking one cigarette is estimated to shorten life expectancy by 11 minutes – equivalent to half an hour of TV watching).
Viewing rates hit a new high in the first half of 2011, averaging four hours and three minutes a day. Television watching is a sedentary activity which is known to be harmful to health and is distinct from getting too little exercise. But a new study suggests its damaging effects may even rank alongside those from smoking and obesity. Researchers who studied television viewing habits in Australia calculated that people who watch for an average of six hours a day shorten their life expectancy by almost five years.
Writing in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, the authors from the University of Queensland, say the figures suggest "substantial loss of life may be associated with prolonged TV viewing."