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A Healthy New Year Resolution: Kicking TV to the Curb

According to a 2009 Nielsen Report, Americans' television watching is at an all-time high...151 hours per month (21 hours per week or 3hrs/day).

This fact is especially disppointing since the quality of television programming has certainly diminished. Does it really improve your life to know who won Dancing with the Stars? How much could you have accomplished or what could you have learned if you would have read books or worked on projects around your house instead of spending meaningless hours with the far from role-model casts of Jersey Shore and Housewives of...(pick the city). How much smarter would your child be if you spent the hour laughing and interacting directly with him instead of the actors on The Office?

I know, many of you with crazy jobs enjoy just sitting on the couch after a busy day and "vegging out" with mindless entertainment. Been there. But, trust me, you will sleep longer and better without stressful images of a Law and Order murder scene penetrating your brain just prior to calling it a night; you will be more productive the following day because your sleep was better; and you will be happier knowing that 5 items were crossed off your "To Do" list instead of 3. Even better if one of those "To Do's" was completing 30 minutes of cardio exercise.

Books have been written and studies performed to determine why Americans are more obese and don't test (intelligence) as well as others throughout the World. My hypothesis...Americans spend way more time in front of the television. French women don't get fat not because they eat a better diet...ever check how many calories and cholesterol are found in chocolate, cheese and croissants? No, it's because they don't have 600 channels of nonsense about pathetic people and trainwreck lives streaming on LCDs in every room of their homes. This study found that Europeans watch 25% less television than Americans--based upon my global travels, I'm of the opinion the disparity is even greater.

I'm not suggesting everyone should eliminate all television watching--there are some benefits. (American Idol and the NFL playoffs will play in the Kaese household.) But, moderating your viewing to no more than 1 hour per night can make a tremendous difference in what you accomplish for yourself and others. Give it a shot.

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