Cut down on TV and save your mind and body 14



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We’re not saying give up TV entirely – just limit the amount of time you spend in front of it. There are a number of good reasons for us to cut back on the time spent in front of the TV screen. Here are some of them:

Physical inactivity

Spending hours each night watching television is bad for our physical health. There are studies indicating that watching TV for more than 4 hours every day can increase our chances of suffering a heart attack by more than 80 per cent. To be fit and healthy, our bodies need to move. We need regular exercise and we don’t get much of that if we spend hours and hours watching TV. Once we pass 50 it’s absolutely essential that we exercise regularly if we are going to maintain a healthy mind and body.


Lack of mental stimulation

“Use it or lose it” applies to our mind as well as our body. To keep the brain active and to reduce the chance of getting dementia, we need mental stimulation and challenges. Most television does not offer any mental challenge. Watching the great majority of programs is passive recreation where the mind just absorbs the program content. There is no requirement to think or respond.



There is a real danger of older people becoming more isolated if they spend a lot of time watching television and less time socialising with friends and neighbours. This is particularly true for single retirees. Isolation and withdrawal are steps on the way to depression. Because it’s” free” and very easy to watch, there’s lots of temptation to spend 2, 4 or even 8 hours a day in front of the screen. It isn’t a friend and it’s a big mistake to give up socialising with real people to spend more time in fantasy land.



Spending hours in front of television tends to create boredom as we remove ourselves from the reality and enjoyment of life. Swapping real life experiences and challenges for the artificial world of the television program provides us with little stimulation or satisfaction. When boredom is added to all the other negatives mentioned above, we end up with a pretty bad result.


The alternative

A lifestyle that does not include full time work gives us a lot of time to fill. How we do it will have a major bearing on our wellbeing and happiness. If we can use this extra leisure time for creative, stimulating activities which expand our minds and make us feel useful members of the community, then we will be happier and healthier people. You don’t have to save the world – just spend more time with friends and acquaintances, doing things that make you feel good.


Do you watch a lot of TV? If so, what do you watch and how does it affect your health? If not, what do you do instead to keep your mind active? Tell us below.

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We hope to see you celebrating the over 60 life with other over 60s on February 17 2015.


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Paul McKeon

Paul McKeon is the founder of the website and the publisher of 3 books about lifestyle issues affecting people in their 50s, 60s and 70s. The books are titled – “The Rest of Your Life”, “Relationships in our 50s – 60s and beyond” and “How to stay Healthy, Active and Sharp in Retirement”. All the books can be purchased on his web site. He had a career in marketing, tourism, sports promotion and publishing in Australia, the UK and S.E. Asia. His books and website stress that a successful retirement is about more than good money management and people need to consider the important lifestyle issues if they are going to find lasting happiness.

  1. Hate TV, Hubby loves it! I sat in front of it for the first time in 12 months a few days ago. We watched a DVD with our daughter who is with us for 2 weeks recovering from an Op. When she leaves us to go back to Italy in 10 days, it will be no more TV for me.

  2. Watch TV & will continue to on most evenings ie unless I have a good book.Like Million Dollar Minute( my husband & I compete using our general knowledge) In Am , I like Chanel 10 Morning show with Ita Butrose keeps me up with current affairs & a bit of fun.Otherwise I like shows like Downtown Abbey & any home decorating shows.

  3. Only have the TV on as background in the evenings, while I do other things, like FB and emails. Multi tasking is wonderful.

  4. I like DVDs , TV . But never watch those reality or cooking shows . Though I do like Rick Stein adventures. I read 2-3 books per week. Do my exercising in morning & I’m saving for a holiday in October.

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