The Negative Effects of Watching Television for Adults and Kids

Do you spend all your free time watching television? Becoming a couch potato can lead to several health problems. Many people sit in front of the TV after they return from work and keep watching for hours. They never consider the negative effects of watching TV and this eventually makes them deal with mental and physical problems.

The Negative Effects of Watching Television

Many people think that only kids spend hours in front of the television but that is not correct. Adults do the same and end up experiencing negative effects. Here are some more details about the effects of watching television.

Negative Effects on Adults

  • Research shows that people who watch TV for three or more hours a day are twice likely to die prematurely as compared to people who watch for an hour or less daily. That is mainly because watching TV is a sedentary activity.
  • Watching TV may lead to overeating and make things worse. You are likely to overeat while watching TV because mental engagement keeps you from realizing your stomach is already full. This can lead to obesity and other related problems.
  • Watching too much TV may make youngsters identify with what they watch and feel bored of living a simple life. They crave for fame and do not mind trying anything to become rich. This can lead to frustration and dissatisfaction.
  • Watching intense emotions on TV can affect you mentally. Those horror and frightful scenes depict physical, verbal, and other forms of abuse that can affect you psychologically.
  • Many TV programs do not make you think anything. The problem is that they bombard you with content and you passively receive it. This overtime can affect your analytical and creative thinking abilities to some extent.

Negative Effects on Kids

Letting your kids spend too much time in front of TV is not a good idea. The negative effects of watching television can be quite serious for kids. For instance:

  • Children who watch too much TV stop engaging in physical activities. Lack of physical activity can lead to obesity and cause several problems.
  • Children who spend too much time in front of a TV screen may end up developing vision problems.
  • Children will not develop social skills when they spend too much time in front of television. They believe they do not need anyone when they can just sit in front of their TV and kill time. This may lead to less or no interaction with others, which greatly affects social development.
  • Watching TV can affect brain development in kids. Studies show that letting your kids watch too much TV during those early years of their lives can alter their brain structure. Another study shows that toddlers who are allowed a screen time of more than two hours a day can develop behavioral problems.
  • You have no control over what they see on TV, and this would leave your kids exposed to vices. That early exposure to content that has alcohol, sex, and drugs can make kids develop a distorted view of these elements.
  • Kids may want to practice the same as that showed on TV. Even superhero flicks are full of violence and this can make your little ones violent and aggressive too.
  • Kids may develop the "scary world syndrome" after watching too much of something that exaggerates reality and portrays extremely violent scenes. With so many guns and violence on TV, your little ones may start to think that the world is not a safe place for them.
  • Commercials shown on TV can encourage your kids to develop unhealthy eating habits. They may develop a liking for ice creams, fast food, and carbonated drinks.

What Should You Do?

Once you know the negative effects of watching television, it is important to take steps to bring things back to normal. Here are a few simple tips to try:

  • TV is bad for your health because it makes you sit still for hours upon hours. Simply include exercise into your viewing routine – you can do squats and lunges during commercial breaks.
  • Avoid unhealthy snacks. When watching TV, you should never go for unhealthy snacks. It is better to keep a bowl of fresh fruit by your side than going for anything laden with salt and sugar.
  • Set a timetable. It is better to set a timer and ensure that you do not spend more than an hour in front of your TV. Setting a timer will help you realize that you have watched for long enough and now it is time to turn it off.

Avoiding Negative Effects on Kids

Here are a few steps you can take to limit the negative effects of watching television for kids.

  • Do your research and select the most appropriate shows for your children. Do not select a show just because they say the intended audience is children. Ensure that the content is appropriate for your child's age and has a good tone and pace. It is better to select shows with shorter duration. Moreover, you should not let your kids watch ads.
  • Limit screen time for kids. If your child is between two and five years of age, do not let them spend more than 32 hours a week in front of TV. Do not let them watch TV during mealtime and do not put TV in their bedroom. Do not take TV as a babysitter – leaving your kids unattended may exposed them to inappropriate content being shown on TV.  Be sure to lay out TV time rules and take steps to ensure that your kids follow those rules.
  • Making it a family activity. It means that instead of letting your kids watch TV alone, you should be there and make it a fun family activity. This will keep your kids from taking TV as a way to kill the time. 
 
 
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