Too Much TV Time Could Dull Your Brain

You may have heeded the warnings of your parents as a youngster that too much TV may rot your brain.

They might have been right.


Three new studies have linked TV viewing in middle-age to a higher risk of cognitive decline. The research suggests that watching even moderate amounts of TV may impair memory and reasoning later in life.

Based on these works, it appears sitting to watch your favorite shows can reduce gray matter in the brain and increase brain atrophy.

Gray matter is involved in several brain functions including sight, sound, decision-making, and more. The more gray matter a person has, the better they are likely to be at remembering and reasoning.

Even more, it appears that exercise does little to reduce the effect if it’s only done in small spurts. For example, if you’re getting 30 minutes of exercise per day, you may not get any significant cognitive benefits if the rest of the day is spent tuned into your flatscreen or working at a computer.

It’s unclear, however, if TV specifically leads to brain aging. It’s possible that extended periods of sedentary behavior might be the real culprit. It is also possible that not moving coupled with blank staring may offer a double whammy for the brain.

One of the studies, for example, found that in comparison to those who reported watching very little television, those who reported moderate or high amounts of viewing had a 7 percent greater decline in cognitive function over 15 years.


The solution might be multifold. First, it’s recommended to spend more time active each day. This doesn’t necessarily mean extending dedicated exercise time, but rather getting up for movement during the day. Cleaning, errands, little strolls around the block, or gardening all fit into this category.

Trying to stand up and move for at least five minutes of every hour may also help.

Lastly, attempting more mentally stimulating or interactive activities may help keep your brain sharp.

Author Bio

About eight years ago, Mat Lecompte had an epiphany. He’d been ignoring his health and suddenly realized he needed to do something about it. Since then, through hard work, determination and plenty of education, he has transformed his life. He’s changed his body composition by learning the ins and outs of nutrition, exercise, and fitness and wants to share his knowledge with you. Starting as a journalist over 10 years ago, Mat has not only honed his belief system and approach with practical experience, but he has also worked closely with nutritionists, dieticians, athletes, and fitness professionals. He embraces natural healing methods and believes that diet, exercise and willpower are the foundation of a healthy, happy, and drug-free existence.