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Reducing TV time helps adults burn more calories, study finds

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According to a new study, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine revealed that overweight people who spend less time before television can help burn calories. The study is published in the December 14/28 issue of Achieves of Internal Medicine one of the JAMA/Achieves Journals. During the course of the study, an electronic lock-out system was engaged in an effort to reduce the time spent before the television to half without changing the calorie intake of those adults who watched television for five hours. The results of the study revealed that during this period more energy was exhausted throughout the three-week study period. The study highlighted on how time spent watching television affects calorie intake, energy used, and time spent on sleeping, and activity in obese and obese adults. Before this study various random studies had focused on modifying diet and physical activities only in an effort to reduce the obesity. But this study has adopted new strategies by inclusion of sedentary behaviors like watching television.

According to Jennifer Otten, PhD, postdoctoral scholar at the Stanford Prevention Research Center and lead author of the study, conducted at the University of Vermont, “reducing the time spent watching television has the potential to improve a person’s activity levels.” On an average, an American adult watch around five hours watching television in a day, the third most time-consuming activity after work and sleep. A good amount of time spent watching the television programs could result in wide array of conditions like obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, Otten added.

The study involved 36 adults who weighed above the healthy range; watched the television for five hours daily. After the three observation weeks half of the participants watched 50 percent less television for three weeks, after the last week period, participants answered surveys about their diet. The group who watched 50 percent less television but didn’t reduce the calorie intake burnt 120 more calories as compared to the first group who watched television for five hours at a stretch. Otten informed, “The energy burned is equivalent to walking more than a mile. We don’t know how the short term changes will take into effect, but during longer term study, it could prevent the weight gain”. While Tom Robinson, MD, the Irving Schulman Endowed Professor in Child Health at Stanford’s School of Medicine, who was not involved in the study but has conducted TV studies in children said, “We are aware that as far as children were concerned one of the most valuable ways to prevent weight gain is to reducing time spent before television, so it is great to see the study like this involving adults.” The researchers concluded reducing television viewing ought to be further investigated as a method to reduce and avert obesity in adults.

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5 thoughts on “Reducing TV time helps adults burn more calories, study finds
  1. Kevin

    Beware Netflix fanatics (including myself), this article seemingly was written for us! How about cutting down our movie marathons every weekend, or every day? I cannot blame myself and the rest of guilty people around here; it totally feels great sitting and lying on our couch watching our favorite movies, add it up with scrumptious potato chips and a can of soda! It feels like we are so blessed to be stressed due to the fact that we have some movies to run to. This nice article is like a wakeup call telling me to go out and enjoy physical activities instead! Well, seems like I’ll be finding myself on the park this coming weekend to prove this lesson for myself. Good luck to all!

  2. Giselle

    Watching television for five hours daily? That’s really insane and not quite shocking if they became obese. I do watch television from time to time but not that long; the only time that I watch for that long is when I am having a movie or tv series marathon which I usually do every month or two. I feel so restless whenever I am not doing anything productive even when I am having a marathon, I tend to move around a lot like preparing some snacks or doing a light exercise. I really wonder how people can last watching for that long. It is easier for many to understand if they are playing video games since there are some instances where you can really get hooked into the game for a while.

  3. James Cole

    With modern technology people tends to be stuck at home playing video games and watching movies. The result was really alarming, I’m one of guilty people doing this. I rather watch movies rather than going out and meeting my friends. Our body needs to use its energy we intake daily, a simple walk to a friend’s house can contribute to our daily activity and stored energy will be use. People who stays at home may develop health problems such as obesity and worst heart problem. As we aged more we should actively increase our mobility and physical activities. When I’m going to supermarket or café, I tend to use my bike or walk to increase my physical activities and use my stored energy.

  4. John Ryan

    Now in the modern age, we tend to stay more at home, surfing the net doing social media stuff and watching TV. Movies and TV series also contribute to why most of us choose to be home bound. Study shows that these two factors have great effect in our body. Not literally cause us sickness, rather depriving ourselves of social interaction with friends and not doing any physical activity. Studies show that people who have problems with obesity and weight are those who tend to stay more often at home. Our food intake daily is composed of energy that needed to be use. Energy that is not used may be converted to fats, and cause obesity. I’m encouraging my children to refrain from using their smartphones and TV at home all the time, I want them to interact with each other rather than sending private messages to each other. Discipline is the key to achieve this.

  5. Greg

    Many of us are enjoying watching television during our leisure time. What more if you are watching your favorite movie series. But did you know that a study found that reducing watching tv can burn more calories? Yes, you heard it right. It is suggested that we should only limit our tv time because it is for our own benefit. Good thing there is Fatigued to Fantastic Energy Revitalization System. Just drink this every day and you will feel that you will be revitalized. Add additional exercise instead of watching TV and you will surely feel immediately the results. Trust me, I tried and tested this product, you will be amazed.

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