More Television, shorter lives

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According to an Australian study, the risk of death from cardiovascular disease increases by around 20% for each hour per day we spend in front of the television. So, the resulting sedentary lifestyle is definitely not the best option when it comes to health.

If we spend more than four hours a day watching television, the risk of death from heart disease appears to increase by 80%. The human body was designed for movement not for sitting, and certainly not for several hours at a time, the author of this report points out.

There will of course be those who challenge this dogmatic statement. Only 100 years ago, the early opponents of the railways claimed that the human body was not made to tolerate the speeds reached by the “iron horse”.

However, despite all this, the results of this survey remain constant and are quite independent of other cardiovascular risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure and obesity. Even with a reasonable weight and a very healthy lifestyle, staying seated for long periods can very often have serious consequences on the glucose and fat levels in a person’s blood.

In 2008, an American study reported on the health risks associated with teenagers having television sets in their bedrooms. Quite apart from the impact on family life, the young people concerned appeared to turn their backs on sport and exercise and ate a lot more fatty, salty, sweet foods.

Health file  The lack of education and political will, poverty, out-moded traditional beliefs, to mention but a few, have been widely blamed for causing severe and sometimes unwarranted health catastrophies of genocidal proportions on the African continent. Child killer diseases, malaria, tuberculosis, water borne diseases, HIV/AIDS, among other preventable ailments have killed millions in their wake. As rightly said by the former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, on May 13, 2000 "More people (...) died of Aids in the past year (1999-2000, ndlr) in Africa than in all the wars on the continent".
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