You probably watch too much television. That is a blanket statement, sure, but odds are it is right on target. The average person watches between 4 and 10 hours of TV each and every day. WHAT??!!  Ok, I will admit to the occasional Netflix binge, but that is way too much, according to TV watching experts. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that children 2 years old and under should watch no TV.

Children, teens, and adults are recommended to limit their TV viewing to less than 2 hours each day. These recommendations are made because staring at “The Idiot Box” or “The Boob Tube” has been linked to lower communication skills, antisocial behavior, altered brain structure, obesity, and poor grades in school. These are scientifically recorded dangers of watching TV, as opposed to engaging in some healthier activity, which is why you should instead choose the following 5 benefits of watching less television.

1 – You Won’t Sit as Much

You were not to intended to sit for as long as you do. Research shows that sitting is deadly, leading to a long list of unhealthy conditions that cause pain, and shorten your life. Most television is viewed sitting down, so when you stop watching as much brain-rotting TV, you are standing and active more, which is a good thing.  If you decide to watch TV, do some burpees and squats at the very least every 5 minutes.  Or, stand up and fold laundry while you’re watching.  This will combat the effects of long term sitting.

2 – Your Brain Becomes Healthier

As highlighted above, staring at a television set actually causes a change in your brain chemistry. It is not a healthy one, either. The negative mental consequences of staring at an electronic screen, television or otherwise, include decreased memory, a weakened ability to plan, organize and take action, weaker brain functioning, and other neurological problems.  This doesn’t even touch on the negative effects of long-term exposure to blue light.  If you’re going to watch, take frequent breaks, and get yourself a pair of these blue blockers.  You may look ridiculous, but you’ll be saving your eyesight and preserving circadian rhythms. 

3 – You Will Find Out You Have a Lot More Free Time Than You Thought

Are you always complaining that there are not enough hours in the day to get things done? You might be wrong. Take out the nearly 34 hours that the television viewing habits monitoring company Nielsen says you are spending in front of the boob tube each week, and you have more than 1 full day of extra time on your hands.  What else could you be accomplishing with an extra day to work with?

4 – You Will Begin Making up Your Own Mind, and Forming Your Own Belief System

Television is a one-way form of communication. People you have never met, that have views and beliefs vastly different from yours, create the content that you consume. Watch enough TV, and you begin to lose the ability to form your own thoughts, opinions, and beliefs.  You go into an alpha brain state which is perfect for brainwashing.  Don’t believe me?  Google “studies on alpha brain waves and television”.  Think about the word “tell a vision”. Think about it.

5 – You Will Stop Feeling Inadequate

TV creates unreal unrealistic expectations. Most human beings are not perfect – slim, trim, super sexy, incredibly smart, abundantly wealthy and successful, which is how television paints the world. Television advertisers want you to feel inadequate, so you will purchase their products that promise miracle results.  Do those attributes even align with your priorities and world view?  Probably not, but how often have we made an impulse purchase based on empty promises of happiness?  

What you should do instead of watching TV

  • Read, read, and read some more.
  • Spend time in solitude.
  • Research and question everything.
  • Form your own opinions.
  • Do something for others.
  • Make something useful.
  • Create.
  • Imagine.
  • Brainstorm.
  • Start your own business.
  • De-clutter your house.
  • Call a friend.
  • Hug a family member.
  • Volunteer.
  • Start a journal.
  • Write a book.
  • Start a blog.
  • Sell on Etsy.
  • Be a mentor.
  • Learn a new skill.
  • Go for a walk.
  • Discover a new restaurant.
  • Do something that makes you uncomfortable.
  • Accomplish one thing on your bucket list.
  • Start a podcast.
  • Donate to your favorite charity.

Want to read some more on the effects of television?  Check out the book below, I read it a few years ago and highly recommend it!