Study: Every hour of TV may shorten life span by 22 minutes

We already know that spending hours sitting on the couch watching television and munching on snacks isn't the healthiest of life choices.

But can watching excessive amounts of TV actually shorten your life span? A new study says yes.

For every hour of television watched after the age of 25, the average human life span drops 22 minutes, according to the study from the University of Queensland in Australia.

Researchers of the study, which tracked 11,000 participants over the age of 25, found that people who watched an average of six hours of TV a day lived nearly five years less than those who watched no TV.

Some medical experts cautioned that the links between watching TV and a shortened life span are likely indirect.

"As a rule, the more time we spend watching TV, the more time we spend eating mindlessly in front of the TV, and the less time we spend being physically active," said Dr. David Katz, of the Yale University School of Medicine. "More eating and less physical activity, in turn, mean greater risk for obesity, and the chronic diseases it tends to anticipate, notably diabetes, heart disease and cancer."

Another explanation for the link was that people who watch excessive amounts of television likely have feelings of loneliness or depression.

The report was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

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