It has long been blamed for creating a nation of couch potatoes. But a new report today claims that Britain’s love affair with television is causing far more damage – both physically and psychologically – than previously thought.
The findings have been compiled by Dr Aric Sigman, a psychologist who has previously written about the effects of television on the viewer. His report, analysing 35 different scientific studies carried out into television and its effect on the viewer, has identified 15 negative effects he claims can be blamed on watching television.
Among the most disturbing findings are the links he claims to have found between long hours of television viewing and cancer, autism and Alzheimer’s.
The effects on children watching TV have been well publicised in Britain. Fears of a timebomb of obesity have sparked a wave of ministerial initiatives to promote sport and tackle the couch-potato lifestyle.
However, today’s report suggests the consequences of television are far more serious. They range from myopia and attention deficit disorder to diabetes, autism, Alzheimer’s and a generation whose brains are being numbed by on-screen imagery.
His report, published in the respected Biologist magazine, claims the problem with television lies in the length of time we spend in front of the set. For most people, watching television now takes up more time than any other single activity except work and sleep. According to the British Audience Research Bureau, by the age of 75 the average Briton will have spent more than 12 years of their life watching television.– Read the rest of this entry »