Watching TV ruin your
health, say experts
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Malathy Iyer, TNN : MUMBAI: A
Taiwanese study has cut the exercise time required for good health. It urges
reluctant urban residents to devote only 90 minutes of their weekly schedule
to physical activity.
"Our results suggest that one in nine deaths from cancer in individuals in
the inactive group could have been averted if they did 15 minutes of
moderate-intensity daily exercise,'' said the Taiwanese researchers who
studied over four lakh people over a period of 12 years. They maintain that
the results for patients who have suffered a stroke, who have poor kidney
function or diabetes is phenomenal.
"It has long been known that activity is equal to longevity. But there has
always been a debate on how much activity is right,'' said city-based
endocrinologist Dr Shashank Joshi. His soon-to-be-published study says that
Indians need longer exercise schedules because of poor muscle tone. "We need
to walk briskly for 30 minutes to strengthen our muscles,'' he added.
Preventive cardiologist Dr Aashish Contractor interprets the new recipe
differently. "The message would be that even 15 minutes of activity is good
as against non-activity. But more is always better.'' His recipe for good
health is: at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity such
as brisk walking or 20 minutes of rigorous physical activity such as jogging
at least 3 to 4 days a week.
Experts agree, however, that television viewing is bad. "More than two hours
of watching TV or playing on the computer is bad for health,'' said Dr
Joshi. "Watching the TV screen is inversely proportional to good health,''
The TV-viewing study, which was conducted in Australia, found that TV could
impact health much in the same way as smoking and lack of exercise. "Other
research has shown that lifelong smoking is associated with the shortening
of life expectancy by more than four years after the age of 50, with the
average loss of life from one cigarette calculated to be 11
minutes-equivalent to half an hour of TV watching,'' according to the risk
framework prepared by the authors.
( Courtesy: Times of India