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Americans Who Watch 4.5 Hours of TV Daily Have Plenty of Time to Exercise

You don’t have time to workout, huh? Well, I have information that says otherwise.

According to the Bureau of Labour we’re a busy bunch, but we’re not exactly making the most of our free time. The biggest excuse in the book for skipping exercise kind of falls apart when you see that people spend the majority of their leisure time watching TV. Are your shows that important? Then move while you watch!

You can easily do yoga, squats, or jog in place while cleaning out your DVR and catching up on the hottest summer reality shows. There are some people who only allow themselves time to watch TV while they’re on the treadmill at the gym, and some who keep their TV in the fitness room of their home.


The only thing we spend less time doing than exercise is relaxing, and that’s no good either. Our bodies and brains need plenty of time to unwind. In some cases though, exercise and relaxing go hand-in-hand. Yoga, swimming, cycling, a round of hoops, or chasing your kids through the park are all ways to relax while still remaining active.

In the 2011 Time Use Survey from the Bureau of Labour Statistics, those adults aged 25 and older with a high school diploma or less appear to be the least active of all – they get the least amount of exercise and they watch the most TV. Those with a bachelor’s degree or higher still watch more TV than they do any other leisure activity, but they also get in just slightly more exercise or time playing sports.

In the battle of the sexes, men are getting a full 10 more minutes each day exercising, while women eek out 4 extra minutes of sleep each night. Last week we reported that housework is still mostly a woman’s job, per a report on TODAY, and this survey shows that women are doing 29 more minutes of cooking and housework each day than the men.

When I was in college, we had a professor ask us to more or less complete a similar survey. We had to account for every minute of our day – whether eating, sleeping, studying, or playing. We all went in to it lamenting how strapped for time we were given our heavy course loads, work, and extracurriculars, but by the end we all found that we had at least two extra hours of free time, not to mention the time we could have re-prioritized.

If you’re one of the adults who spends anywhere from 2.5-4.5 hours a day watching TV, then we encourage you to re-prioritize that time. Whether you replace one show with a workout, or only allow yourself TV time if you’re moving, it’s most certainly time better spent.

Also Read:

Napping is the Secret to Health and Happiness

Watching and Changing the Weight of the Nation

5 Summer Workout Dos and Don’ts

June 26th, 2012

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