Television and Stress
The United Nations declared November 21 as World Television Day in 1996 as part of its recognition that the television was used to educate many people, and that television and stress could also be experienced. Television was one of the most influential forms of media for communication and information dissemination. It was used to alert the world to conflicts and threats to peace and security and sharpening the focus on other major issues, including economic and social issues.
On Television viewers could watch a weather report to prepare for the day. Cartoons and sport provided relaxation and fun. Documentaries and the news taught us about the world. And advertisements informed us about products and new ideas.
But what is the future of television and stress?
In 2006, 64% of Americans said that they considered the Television set to be a necessity. That was down to 42% in 2010. Teenagers and children are watching a third less broadcast Television on traditional sets than they were in 2010, as they shift to digital viewing. One day you are a necessity…the next, you are a relic.
Can you imagine talking to your doctor while he examines your surgery scars over the screen on your television set. This isn’t the future, but the present. Doctors in the UK are experimenting with this technology and are finding surprising benefits. By 2020 500 million homes will have the televisions connected to the Internet in a way that will allow this to happen all over the world.
Television has been passive, where you would lean back and just take it all in. In the future, content will be personalized and on-demand.
Television and Stress: So how is this all related to stress and wellness?
It is still about having a finite amount of time throughout the day and using that time wisely to accomplish or to take care. Our television time is still discretionary time and we will still need to ask if this is the best use of our time.
Research on TV watching, multi-media and health
- The University of Pennsylvania found that many individuals who watch Television in the two hours preceding their bedtime stay awake past the point of feeling tired. For this reason, the University of Maryland Medical Center recommends that people not put televisions in their bedrooms.
- According to the University of Michigan Health System, excessive Television watching habits in children and adolescents interferes with sleep quality, and may lead to sleep problems. Adolescents who have too much screen time are also at risk for sleep problems into early adulthood.
- 30% of all males who play video games regularly may be physiologically addicted to game playing. The more violent the game is, the more potentially addictive it is.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s most recent study of children ages 8 to 18:
- Young people spend an average of 6.5 hours per day with entertainment media, or over 44 hours per week.
- Internet use for fun averages about 1 hour per day.
- Playing of video games averages 1 hour per day.
- By comparison, reading books, magazines, or newspapers averages only 45 minutes per day. Doing chores averages 30 minutes per day, and doing homework averages 50 minutes per day.
- U.S. homes average 3.6 CD players, 3.5 television sets, 3.3 radios, 3.9 DVD players, 2.1 video game consoles, and 1.5 computers. In fact, 25% of children are growing up in homes with five or more Television sets.
- Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the New York State Psychiatric Institute study showed that teenagers who spent a lot of screen time were more likely to have attention and learning problems “that persist, and interfere with their long-term educational achievement.”
- According to an American Journal of Public Health study, an adult who watches three hours of TV a day is far more likely to be obese than an adult who watches less than one hour.
Television is changing. Content and delivery are changing, but the question of how our time is spent will still persist into the future. Click to tweet
Our viewing time is not all bad.
Our viewing time is relaxing. It can be useful for learning. But we should still be making active choices on how our time is being used, so that we don’t find that our time has been sucked away and that the things we would have liked to have accomplished have been left undone.
Contact Beverly about hosting a stress management workshop for your teams on how to cope with stress and other stress and mental health training. Discover tips to deal with stress and encourage positive stress management techniques!
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