Turning off the Television

A couple watches a television in their living room.

Photograph by cottonbro studio on Pexels.

Turning off the Television

In the modern world, television is a part of daily living for many people. From youth to adulthood, television was and is present. Do we need it? Has it benefited our lives? How has television impacted children? Watching TV can be informative, educational, and entertaining, but being glued to the television can have a negative impact.

Watching TV May Encourage a Lack of Exercise.

If you go to a gym, you may see mini-TVs attached to every treadmill, but generally, viewing television is associated with sedentary participants. Many researchers have elected to study how television impacts a person’s physical activity. A 2019 study examined the association of daily TV time with physical fitness in Austrian youth ages 6 to 14. The researchers found that of the 3,293 participants, nearly half (48.5%) reported watching TV for more than two hours. The research professionals also learned that children with high TV consumption had significantly lower physical fitness than their peers. The study also recognized that the children “exceeding the current TV time recommendations had a 60% higher risk of having poor or very poor fitness compared to those with a TV time [of less than two hours per day.]”

Are Television Programs a Bad Influence?

Younger people might not remember that television shows were once called tv programs. The word program has different definitions. It can refer to the performance of a broadcast or radio production, but program can also mean “to predetermine the thinking, behavior, or operations of as if by computer programming.” As strange as it may sound, does television program people? Researchers have long wondered if television violence has impacted children and adults. In 1982, the National Institute of Mental Health surmised the significant impacts of watching violence on television. They concluded that “children [who watch television violence] may become less sensitive to the pain and suffering of others, may be more fearful of the world around them, and may be more likely to behave in aggressive or harmful ways toward others.”

Alternatives to Television

There are plenty of interesting alternatives to watching TV, such as getting yourself outside the house. Exercising provides health benefits, feels good, and can help you socialize. If you are unaccustomed to exercising regularly, start slow with mild exercise. Walk around your neighborhood or a local park. The fresh air will do you good. If you have a dog, you can enjoy extra time with your canine companion doing your outdoor exercise activity. Your pup will appreciate it.

Hobbies are another good way to establish goals and be productive. Learning a new skill can boost your confidence and help you collect accomplishments. Knitting is a healthy hobby that has numerous benefits. Research has shown knitting reduces stress and combats “depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction, eating disorders, and chronic pain, proving that a wide variety of people could benefit from it.” Knitting can also stimulate brain function. The rhythm of knitting assists in releasing serotonin in the body. Serotonin normalizes mood and also helps a person sleep well.

TV is not all bad. There are helpful broadcasts that can better your life, help you learn new skills, educate, and inform you. Watching the occasional TV show or sporting event can also be enjoyable and bring people together. Just don’t let television dominate your life and your children too. Control your television-watching instead of it controlling you.

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About Joey Hinojosa

Joey Hinojosa graduated with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism and a master's degree in mass communications. He began working at Empower Brokerage in early 2022 and enjoys being creative in his writing, photography, videography, and other projects.

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