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Opening the Doors to Healthier and Stress-Free Living

A Column by Alice Abbott-Moore,
Content Access/Information Delivery Teams, Ekstrom Library

Turn off the Tube!


How many of us go home at night and watch TV for the duration of the evening? Are any tasks put aside as we opt to view some shows? While some of us are selective about what we watch, others just have the TV on as background noise.


I am not a big TV watcher, but I won’t say that I never turn on the tube. Once a week I watch five of my “favorite shows” back-to-back. So, I view TV at least for three hours a week. Occasionally, I am able to catch a movie. Since I am on the run quite a bit, I do not really get the chance to watch TV the rest of the week unless it is really late at night. Until the recent programming schedule change, there were two shows late at night that I would “unwind” to. Since both of the shows are no longer on late, I do not watch much TV until the night of my five favorite shows.


Watching too much TV can cause health problems. It promotes a sedentary nature and can cause eyestrain and procrastination. While I believe turning off the TV is a good thing, many see the TV as “their friend.” As with many things, moderation is the healthiest approach.


To cut down on watching TV, be selective on what you watch and then turn it off. When the TV is off, be sure to have plenty of alternative things to do—particularly if children are involved. There is no point in turning off the TV when the only alternative forms of entertainment are listening to the radio or playing on the computer (Mozes).


Consider these strategies in setting up and maintaining new rules about TV:

·         No TV during meals.


The following are some alternative activities:




Mozes, A. “To Get Obese kids to exercise, turn off the TV”


“Turning Off the Tube.”


“un-TV” guide: Beyond the Turn-Off: Guidelines for Reducing and Managing TV Viewing: