We’re not saying give up TV entirely – just limit the amount of time you spend in front of it. There are a number of good reasons for us to cut back on the time spent in front of the TV screen. Here are some of them –
Spending hours each night watching television is bad for our physical health. There are studies indicating that watching TV for more than 4 hours every day can increase our chances of suffering a heart attack by more than 80%.To be fit and healthy our bodies need to MOVE. We need regular exercise and we don’t get much of that if we spend hours and hours watching TV.
Lack of Mental Stimulation.
“Use it or Lose it” applies to our mind as well as our body. To keep the brain active and to reduce the chance of getting dementia, we need mental stimulation and challenges. Most television does not offer any mental challenge. Watching the great majority of programs is passive recreation where the mind just absorbs the program content. There is no requirement to think or respond.
There is a real danger of older people becoming more isolated if they spend a lot of time watching television and less time socialising with friends and neighbours. This is particularly true for single retirees. Isolation and withdrawal are steps on the way to depression. Because it’s” free” and very easy to watch, there’s lots of temptation to spend 2, 4 or even 8 hours a day in front of the screen.
Spending hours in front of television tends to create boredom as we remove ourselves from the reality and enjoyment of life. Swapping real life experiences and challenges for the artificial world of the television program provides us with little stimulation or satisfaction. When boredom is added to all the other negatives mentioned above, we end up with a pretty bad result.
A lifestyle that does not include full time work gives us a lot of time to fill. How we do it will have a major bearing on our wellbeing and happiness. If we can use this extra leisure time for creative, stimulating activities which expand our minds and make us feel useful members of the community, then we will be happier and healthier people. You don’t have to save the world – just spend more time with friends and acquaintances, doing things that make you feel good.
Our book titled “How to stay Healthy, Active and Sharp in Retirement” gives you lots of practical advice on enjoying good health. It’s available on this web site.