You may have not thought about the repercussions of seniors watching too much TV; however, the negative effects are certainly worth talking about. The most dangerous aspect of watching too much TV stems from what your body is doing while you're watching TV: sitting. Sitting for long periods of time is detrimental to everyone's health, especially more fragile seniors. Learn more about the dangers of seniors watching too much TV.
Sitting for long periods of time increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases and premature death. Obesity also plays a huge factor in sitting. A 30-minute walk or hour workout simply isn't enough to cancel out a 10-hour long TV binging session.
Lipoprotein lipase is responsible for breaking down fat that circulates in the blood to make it available for muscles to use as energy. Sitting reduces this by a shocking 90%. This explains why inactive people have a higher rate of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack or stroke. Additionally, lack of activity can also lend itself toward poor bone health, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.
Sometimes seniors may feel like a burden to family, friends, or society and therefore "hibernate" in their homes to watch TV all day. We definitely do not want them feeling this way. Isolation can turn into feelings of sadness and depression. Make sure seniors feel wanted and needed by stopping by frequently to visit or calling them every day.
Ways to Help
Here are some ways you can help your senior get off the couch:
Encourage your senior loved ones to watch TV while walking on a treadmill or stepping in place. Even getting up for intermittent walks on commercial breaks is better than nothing at all.
Engage your loved one in new and exciting activities such as cooking classes, reading groups, or doing a different activity like volunteering at an animal shelter.
Take your loved one to a senior center so they can get involved in activities with people their own age.
Bring in a caregiver to provide companionship throughout the day and engage your loved one.
Move the phone in the other room. Just by walking to pick up the phone, you are getting in some physical activity.
Get a fitness device. Fitness bands track time spent sitting, walking, and sleeping, and log steps for each day. Having that information to review can encourage your senior to get up and get moving.
Boredom is often the culprit of watching too much TV. Seniors can still live a busy and wonderful life by participating in activities regularly. Between 1-3 hours of TV is a healthy recommended amount to aim for. Any more than that and seniors are at risk for a plethora of negative consequences. Remember to be supportive and encouraging when speaking about reducing TV and sitting time daily.
Caring Senior Service has the experience, compassion, and training necessary for comprehensive home care, and we also offer a wide range of home care services that are all designed to make life easier for seniors and their families. To learn more about the services we provide, contact the Caring team near you today!