Tips for Television Watching

Television or TV is not only entertainment for kids and adults, but also an important source of useful information like educational programs, news, sports commentary, travel and so on. Sometimes, we spend hours for watching TV. In this article, I will give you tips about watching TV and ideal placement of TV in your home.

Effect of Television on You

Ideal positioning of TV in a room is important. If you do not take care of those factors, then you may get some negative consequences like following.

  • Eye fatigue
  • Optic nerve over-exertion
  • Emotional over-exitement
  • Excess radiation dose (with old type CRT only)

Effect on Vision

It is not true that Watching TV more can make you Blind. But it does affect your Eye Health.

  • The main reason for decrease in visual acuity is difference between lighting of the screen and the room. This is especially true while watching at evening or night. If you constantly watch TV with room lights off, It may cause eye fatigue.
  • The other reason is screen flickering. Frequency of 85Hz or more is good for Eye health.

Effect on Physical Health

  • While watching TV, our physical movement is minimum. Which increases problems like Weight gain, circulation system impairment and digestive system issues.
  • Also there is tendency to prefer so called "Fast Foods" like chips, sweets, samosa, sandwitches etc. while watching TV, which are high in calory and again causes similar problems like mentined above.
  • Because of this, there is risk of developing Diabetes, Bowel disruption and Joint problems.
  • Also in Children, this cause low immunity sometimes.

Effect on Mental Health

  • Continuously watching TV from a single place not only lowers physical ctivity but also causes problems in falling asleep or not getting enough sleep.
  • Blue light may interfere with Melatonin hormone production which causes sleep reduction.
  • This in turn causes less relaxation.
  • Also there is Negative emotion development due to Negative information. Which may cause you to feel insecure or ven depressed.

What is the best distance to watch TV?

The correct distance will be at which you will be comfortable seeing the image on the TV. Many adhere to the figure - 3 meters or 10 feet.

Ideally, we suggest that that a comfortable distance can be calculated using the formula: "TV diagonal" multiplied by 3 to 4 at least. For example, a TV diagonal is 80 cm, multiply it by 4, we get a distance of 3.5 meters. It is at this distance that the eyes will not suffer from watching TV. Try it too, calculate your comfortable distance.

Equally important is the height of the TV above the floor. For comfortable viewing, it is not recommended to throw your head back or tilt it. The TV screen should be at eye level when you are sitting. This is approximately 1 - 1.5 m or 3-4 feet from the floor.

How long can you watch TV?

Eye fatigue occurs when watching TV for a long time. There is heaviness and pain in the eyes, headache, dizziness, irritation may appear. Prolonged viewing can even lead to insomnia.To avoid such negative consequences, the duration of viewing should not exceed 2-3 hours: this is the average time for watching a movie or some interesting show. It is after this time that you can feel the above symptoms.

To minimize the negative consequences, it is necessary to take a break every 15 minutes and look away from the TV screen. Such breaks can be arranged, for example, during the display of ads. For health benefits, you can get up and go for a glass of water. For what it is necessary, you can read in the article on the benefits of water for the body.

How long can a child watch TV?

We suggest children under the age of two should not watch television. For them, this is not only an unbearable load on their eyes, but also a negative effect on the central nervous system. The child may become overexcited, and then will not be able to fall asleep for a long time or becomes capricious.

Children over 2 years old can watch TV for a total of no more than 30 minutes per day. Children from 3 to 7 years old can watch TV for no more than 1 hour a day, from 7 to 13 years old - two hours are enough. However, we must remember that you can watch TV continuously for no more than 1.5 hours.

Correct posture in front of the TV How do we usually watch TV?

Many people consider the most comfortable position to be reclining or half-sitting in an armchair or on a sofa. And this is wrong! Why?

  • The desire of a person to take an asymmetrical position indicates a problem with the spine.
  • If they sit with their legs crossed, this can provoke the onset of varicose veins due to stagnation in the blood vessels.
  • Prolonged sitting in an uncomfortable position disrupts blood circulation in the pelvis and causes hemorrhoids.
  • Prolonged uncomfortable posture can provoke the development of intervertebral hernias.

In order not to have health problems properly in front of the TV, you must sit like this. Sit up straight, leaning close to the back of a chair or sofa, and place a small pillow under your lower back. If you feel uncomfortable, then you just need to get up, walk around the room and sit down again in the correct position.

It is also recommended to use fitball balls instead of a sofa or chair for sitting. In this case, the muscles of the spine will not be tense, there will be no stagnation of blood during prolonged sitting. Moreover, when sitting on such a ball, the pleasure can be combined with the useful: you can do some simple exercises between times for literally all muscle groups.

Watching TV with light or dark?

Do not watch TV in the dark. The sharp contrast between indoor darkness and a bright screen can tire your eyes very quickly.

It is best to watch TV in a lighted room. The main thing is that the light source does not reflect on the TV screen.

TV Modes while watching

Most TV models have the following settings.

  • Cinema or Movie mode - for those who need a clear picture.
  • Vivid Mode - Increases saturation and brightness, but often decreases detail.
  • Sport mode is optimal for watching sports events and other live broadcasts.
  • Standard mode is the middle between all of the above.
  • For gamers, many TVs have a Gaming mode. It disables certain TV functions, speeding up the processor and minimizing panel response times.

Try each mode for at least 15-30 minutes to see which one is most comfortable for you for different types of content.

These all details in just for basic information about the diseases. Please consult your doctor before following this by yourself. --- Dr Dhaval Patel (MD, AIIMS Delhi)

- compiled & published by Dr Dhaval Patel MD AIIMS

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