Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study suggests TV watching lowers physical activity

31.07.2006
Using pedometers, researchers find that more TV means fewer daily steps

A study of low-income housing residents has documented that the more television people say they watched, the less active they were, researchers from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and colleagues report.

The findings of television's effects on physical activity are the first to be based on objective measurements using pedometers, rather than the study subjects' memories of their physical activity, say the researchers. The study will be published online by the American Journal of Public Health on July 27 and later in the journal's September 2006 issue.

"Clearly the more time a person spends watching television the less time they have to be physically active, and in many lower income communities, other factors might have influenced the study participants' decisions to spend time watching television," said the paper's lead author, Gary Bennett, PhD, of Dana-Farber's Center for Community-Based Research and the Harvard School of Public Health.

These factors may include fear of street crime and poor maintenance of parks and playground equipment, which create barriers to outdoor activities. Older people were particularly prone to staying indoors and watching television, which reflects their increasing isolation in society today, Bennett said.

The study involved 486 low-income housing residents in Boston. The study participants tended to be black or Hispanic, older, and female. Two-thirds were overweight or obese, 37 percent had less than a high-school education.

To avoid the potential inaccuracies associated with self-reported physical activity, the researchers arranged to have the study participants wear pedometers during their waking hours to count the number of steps they took every day for five days. The pedometers were "blinded" to prevent the participants from knowing how many steps they had taken and possibly altering their normal patterns of activity. The participants also reported the number of hours they watched television.

Results showed that the participants watched an average of 3.6 hours a day of television, with some reporting spending no time watching television while others watched as much as 14.5 hours on weekdays and 19 hours on weekend days.

Researchers have estimated that 10,000 steps a day measured with a pedometer roughly approximates recommended daily activity levels. In the current study, on an average day, each hour of television viewing was associated with 144 fewer steps walked – or an average of 520 fewer steps a day for those who spent 3.6 hours in front of the television.

In addition, for each hour of television they watched, participants were 16 percent less likely to achieve the 10,000-step-per-day goal. For those who watched the 3.6-hour-a-day mean value, their odds of walking 10,000 steps a day were 47 percent less than non-television-watchers.

The study findings represent "a piece of a larger puzzle for us – how do we help people to become more active?" said Bennett. Simply telling people not to watch television "doesn't work terribly well," he explained, and often leads to substituting other sedentary activities like reading and computer use.

Going forward, "we need to do a better job of understanding the factors that lead people to be physically active," Bennett said. "This is an important area of research, particularly because the impact of physical inactivity disproportionately affects the health of lower income Americans."

Janet Haley Dubow | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.dfci.harvard.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Physics of bubbles could explain language patterns
25.07.2017 | University of Portsmouth

nachricht Obstructing the ‘inner eye’
07.07.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Abrupt motion sharpens x-ray pulses

Spectrally narrow x-ray pulses may be “sharpened” by purely mechanical means. This sounds surprisingly, but a team of theoretical and experimental physicists developed and realized such a method. It is based on fast motions, precisely synchronized with the pulses, of a target interacting with the x-ray light. Thereby, photons are redistributed within the x-ray pulse to the desired spectral region.

A team of theoretical physicists from the MPI for Nuclear Physics (MPIK) in Heidelberg has developed a novel method to intensify the spectrally broad x-ray...

Im Focus: Physicists Design Ultrafocused Pulses

Physicists working with researcher Oriol Romero-Isart devised a new simple scheme to theoretically generate arbitrarily short and focused electromagnetic fields. This new tool could be used for precise sensing and in microscopy.

Microwaves, heat radiation, light and X-radiation are examples for electromagnetic waves. Many applications require to focus the electromagnetic fields to...

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New 3-D imaging reveals how human cell nucleus organizes DNA and chromatin of its genome

28.07.2017 | Health and Medicine

Heavy metals in water meet their match

28.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Oestrogen regulates pathological changes of bones via bone lining cells

28.07.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>