Television's Impact On Health And Wellness | The Communication Blog

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Television's Impact On Health And Wellness

By James Darren

Researchers from Yale, the U.S. National Institute of Health and California Pacific Medical Center reported that the average American child spends 45 hours a week in front of the TV or computer, and only 30 hours in school. The conclusion is that TV and Internet are bad for kids. Television has been blamed for obesity and behavioral problems, antisocial behavior and many other physical and psychological consequences.

One cannot dispute the fact that Americans are becoming obese and that people are replacing many other ways of spending their free time with watching TV or playing video games. However, there are other ways to look at the problem. First, take a moment and consider the fact that there is bad television and there is good television.

As a consequence, many people, including children, are seriously lacking physical exercise. They also are not engaging in enough social interaction. Obesity is the most obvious consequence of this type of behavior. But scientists are also warning about potential developmental problems in children who isolate themselves in front of the television. There are an amazing array of choices of programs and channels, especially when you consider satellite TV services like the Dish Network. It is important to remember that these types of services provide extremely healthy programming options that include a wide variety of learning opportunities.

Yet on the downside, today's plentiful entertainment choices can mean that people, young and old, are spending too little time being physically active. They are potentially missing out on things like simply taking a walk or engaging in physical fitness activities. Combined with an increasingly unhealthy diet full of fat, hidden calories, harmful chemicals and preservatives, the end result is a skyrocketing obesity level and more disease. In fact, childhood obesity and fitness levels have never been more serious than they are today.

It is up to parents to control how their children spend their free time. Just like they have a responsibility to monitor with whom their kids socialize, parents also need to make sure that their children do not watch inappropriate programs on TV. After all, there is technology that allows parents to limit the channels children watch by blocking inappropriate content.

Parents need to encourage children to spend less time on the Internet, playing video games and watching television. While all of the recent breakthroughs in entertainment are fantastic, there is still a need for good old-fashioned exercise and play.

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