As I travel throughout the week to different healthcare facilities, I am struck by the fact that televisions are on in virtually every room I go into. Even though I know this could never happen, I would love to see healthcare facilities remove televisions from patients rooms and have one communal room for intentional TV viewing.
They say that sitting is the new smoking. Not all sitting however is the same. Sitting and watching television is the worst. Television bombards you with content that you passively receive. Overtime, this affects analytical and creative thinking. Further, if it is on while you you are attempting to sleep, it prevents you from entering deep restorative sleep and disrupts your sleep cycle.
Watching TV disrupts the mental engagement that would cue you to let you know your stomach is full. This as well as the constant presence of advertisements for hyper palatable foods frequently leads to over-eating.
Obviously watching too much TV takes away from physical activities. This leads to obesity as well as many other health problems. These include increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and early death.
I came across a great quote by Annie Dillard. It says “How we spend our days is, of course how we spend our lives.“ In short, live an intentional life. Intentional living is doing that you want to do and plan to do. It’s OK to watch television if you plan to do it and do it in moderation. Focus on it and enjoy it. If taken to excess, and always on in the background of our sleeping and waking lives, it detracts from an intentional life.