Negative Physical Health Effects of Excessive Television

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Date Submitted: 05/26/2008 08:53 PM

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The Negative Physical Health Effects of Excessive Television Viewing

While there have been great amounts of focus on the psychological outcome that excessive television viewing has on children and how this may negatively effect behavior (causing violent transgressions), very little of society’s attention is focused on the negative physical health effects of excessive television viewing. Society tends to blame television for socially stunted and violently inclined children; however, few people dare to turn their attention to television when it comes to increasingly important matters of health. According to Jason and Hanaway in their book Remote Control: A Sensible Approach to Kids, TV, and the New Electronic Media, television’s content and the sedentary lifestyle it promotes is making children overweight (109). In fact, there have been many studies confirming that there is a direct correlation between how much television children watch and their obesity levels (Pawlowski 171). Excessive viewing does more than increase the likelihood that one will become obese; it also negatively affects the overall quality of one’s life by decreasing a person’s fitness level. Children are facing an overall decline in fitness because they are watching more television and spending less time doing more active things (Winn 43). Television is rapidly replacing bike riding, playing outside, and many sports. Children would rather sit back and watch their favorite program than do more engaging activities. Television viewing also has an adverse effect on sleeping habits among children less than 3 years of age, children, and adolescents (Thompson and Christakis 851). While television seems to offer a relaxing alternative to other more stimulating activities, it doesn’t relax the body; instead, it stimulates it so much that irregular sleep patterns occur and it becomes more difficult to sleep (Christakis and Zimmerman 106). By increasing body weight, decreasing physical fitness, and...