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News flash: Watch less TV, burn more calories!

December 14, 2009 |  5:38 pm
Earth to boob tube devotees: If you cut down on those "Golden Girls" reruns, you might burn off some of that extra poundage.

That's the revelation published in the Archives of Internal Medicine today, which found that people who cut their television time by half burned 119 more calories per day on average. "Compared with other sedentary activities such as reading, writing, talking on the telephone, or desk work, TV viewing expends less energy," the paper says. Here’s the abstract and news release.
Perhaps it's not an earth-shattering revelation, but it's decent public service research. So much of modern life requires people to remain sedentary -- sitting in a cubicle, surfing the Web, driving to and from work -- that any study that could serve to remind people that there may be other ways to spend leisure time isn't a bad thing.

By all means, please try this at home. But if you aren’t overweight and glued to the screen for a minimum of three hours a night, as this study’s subjects were, the improvement in your caloric burn rate might not reach triple digits.

The big humdinger in the article: It states that the average adult watches TV almost five hours a day -- which would probably mean, for the full-time working adult, that you'd have to turn on the TV as soon as you get home, while you prepare and eat dinner, go to the bathroom, and possibly as you sleep. A bit of a stretch, n'est-ce pas?

-- Amina Khan