In a study published online in advance of publication in the August issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, UCSD researchers examined television use in a large, nationally representative sample that was collected by the Center for Health and Well Being at Princeton University. Using an innovative, diary-like assessment strategy called the Day Reconstruction Method, study participants were asked to measure how they spent their time and describe their experience of everyday activities.
"We found that older people spent a great deal more time watching TV than younger people did, yet they enjoyed the experience less," said first author Colin A. Depp, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry with UCSD's Stein Institute for Research on Aging. "What the study underscored is that alternatives to television as entertainment are needed, especially in older adults."
The study looked at 3,092 Americans, aged 15 to 98, in survey data collected in 2006. Adults over 65 reported spending three times more of their waking hours watching TV than did younger adults. Older adults did not seem to experience the same "stress buffering" effects that younger adults did from watching TV, and TV use among older adults – unlike time spent on other leisure activities, such as socializing or physical exercise – was related to lower life satisfaction.
Data from other studies indicate that the average American household spends 4.5 hours watching TV per day and, in those over age 65, about 25% percent of their time is spent watching TV. Recent work suggests that sedentary activity, such as TV watching, is associated with negative changes in many aspects of health including cardiovascular, bone health and cellular function. Television use in particular has been linked with greater risk for obesity and Type2 diabetes, lower life satisfaction, less frequent engagement in social and physical interaction, and increased risk for dementia.
The authors were surprised to find that older adults experienced TV watching as less enjoyable than younger people. "It is reasonable to expect that older adults may enjoy TV more than younger ones do, because they have fewer demands on their time. Prior studies also suggest they may use TV to regulate negative emotions," said co-author Dilip V, Jeste, MD, Distinguished Professor of psychiatry and neurosciences at UCSD School of Medicine, Estelle and Edgar Levi Chair in Aging, and director of the Stein Institute for Research on Aging. "Yet, our study indicates that older adults report lower levels of positive emotion while watching TV when compared to other activities – which is not the case in younger adults."
The researchers concluded that increasing public awareness of alternatives to TV watching and reducing barriers to alternative activities that are more socially and physically engaging could reduce TV use in older people and diminish the potential for associated negative health effects.
Additional contributors include David A. Schkade, PhD, of UCSD's Rady School of Management and Wesley K. Thompson, PhD, of UCSD Department of Psychiatry and Stein Institute for Research on Aging. The study was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health.
Debra Kain | EurekAlert!
Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
28.06.2017 | Health and Medicine