Do you watch too much TV? Most people would probably say no, but the experts would disagree. Here are some chilling statistics to keep in mind the next time you grab the remote:

  • By age 75, most of us will have spent more than twelve-and-a-half years watching television! That’s more time than we’ll spend shopping, socializing, going to the library, and going to church combined!

  • And most children spend more time watching television than they spend in school! In fact, by the time they’re six, the average child has logged more than a year of TV.

Dr. Aric Sigman has studied the effect TV has on our lives, and wrote the book, Remotely Controlled: How Television Is Damaging Our Lives. Here’s why he says you should be running to pull the plug:

  • TV damages the brain. The American Academy of Pediatrics found that the more television a toddler watched, the more likely they were to be diagnosed with ADD. That’s because TV watching "rewires" an infant’s brain. It makes the world seem “sped up” and it over stimulates their developing brains. So, as kids grow up, they’ll have trouble focusing at the natural pace of real life. And a study of adults linked watching television to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s. That’s because, when you watch TV, you can be in a semi-conscious state. And to prevent Alzheimer’s the mind needs to be active.

  • TV hurts your health. Researchers from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute found that watching TV actually lowers our metabolism. In fact, people who watch TV burn 200 fewer calories a day than people who sit doing nothing!

  • TV affects our behavior. Several studies show that watching onscreen drinking and smoking increases those behaviors in both teens and adults, but that’s the least of it. When Dr. Sigman looked at developing cultures that just recently began watching TV, he found that crime went up when cable went in.