That's this weekend's shocking revelation, which was published by TV Licensing in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. According to their findings excessive television viewing can have an impact on life expectancy comparable to smoking and obesity. A viewer with a 6 hour a day habit could end up in the grave 5 years earlier than average.
The study followed the viewing and lifestyle habits of 11,000 Australians aged over 25. The British researchers said: "While we used Australian data, the effects in other industrialised and developing countries are likely to be comparable, given the typically large amounts of time spent watching TV and similarities in disease patterns."
Maureen Talbot, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Sedentary behaviour, such as vegging in front of the TV, is practically a cultural institution these days and it’s good to relax for a while, but this study supports the view that too much of it can be bad for our health."
I was trying to work out why TV Licensing was commissioning this research, which seemingly discourages people from watching television.
Their message suddenly dawned on me: "Buy a TV licence now before you die".