By Peter Suderman
The idiot box isn't a mortal threat, at least in the medium term, according to a new study by a researcher at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The study looked at adults over the age of 20, all of whom were participants in the more comprehensive National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 1999 and 2002. 7,350 of those participants were then selected for further study, and were asked about the their screen time, including television, videos, and computer usage, through 2006.
The result? Increased screen time did not correlate with increased mortality; in fact, those who sat in front of the screen for four or five hours a day actually showed a lower mortality rate than those who watch one or two hours a day (though this doesn't suggest that watching more TV is safer). The study cautions that the mortality effects of sedentary viewing remain somewhat uncertain, but conclude that within their sample, "screen time did not significantly predict mortality from all-causes and diseases of the circulatory system."
So tune in and turn on—you'll probably be fine.