Do you know who makes me angry? Grant Denyer! Yep, the Australian TV presenter that hosts Family Feud. I don't know what it is about his cheesy grins and horrible one-liners that really grates on me. I guess it's lucky that I am not the average Australian...
Huh? Well, I was reading up on some random statistics regarding physical activity levels in Australia and came across a survey conducted in 2011-12 that was published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
Amongst other key findings, the research drew the following results:
On average, children and young people aged 5–17 years spent one and a half hours (91 minutes) per day on physical activity and over two hours a day (136 minutes) in screen-based activity;
Just under half (44%) of all children and young people (2–17 years) had at least one type of screen-based item (e.g. TV, computer, or game console) in their bedroom. For the 15–17 year olds, three-quarters had some kind of screen-based media in their bedroom and this was associated with them spending an extra two hours per week watching/playing screen-based media compared with those who did not have any such item in their bedroom.
Adults spent an average of just over 30 minutes per day doing physical activity. However, against the National Physical Activity Guidelines for adults "to do at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most days", only 43% of adults actually met the "sufficiently active" threshold.
Watching TV was the most prevalent sedentary activity, at nearly 13 hours a week, peaking at over 19 hours per week on average for people aged 75 and over. Using the computer or Internet (for non-work purposes) peaked at almost 9 hours per week for 18–24 year olds.
Television Viewing: So What?
What's the issue with a little relaxation? Short answer is... nothing. The issue is when relaxation is synonymous with watching television for hours on end. Why? Because:
- 62.8% of Australians are overweight or obese; that's close to 2/3 of us;
- 27.5% fit the 'obese' category;
- The prevalence of overweight and obesity is increasing steadily, up from 56.3% in 1995;
- Men struggle with weight management at higher rates than women: The latest stats show overweight and obesity affects 69.7% of men compared to 55.7% of women.
It's fairly well known that the build up of body fat, particularly around the abdomen where men store it, is linked with many diseases including heart disease, cancer, diabetes and arthritis. This concerns me...
No More Boring Stats Please...
Now that the boring stats are out, here's a fresh take on the subject. I've decided to come up with a list of alternative things you could do rather than watch TV.
Now, some of the items on this list are indeed left field. Further, not all activities are calorie-burners! Some of them are downright ridiculous. My aim here is to get you to think about doing something other than becoming a slave to the box.
Some items on this list may give you value in the form of active relaxation and that's MUCH better than blankly staring at a screen and numbing out. If you're going to relax, make it active relaxation, even snoozing. Not going into a dead zone that offers you little more than a half-day wasted.
So here we go!
100 Things To Do Instead Of Watch TV
Instead of watching the box, you could:
- Go for an afternoon stroll on the beach;
- Listen to a podcast about science;
- Make love with your partner;
- Go and buy yourself a new "going out" shirt;
- Walk to the cafe and have a long black;
- Read a book about dogs;
- Play catch with your actual dog;
- Call your mum and tell her you love her;
- Do a spring clean on your bedroom so it looks awesome again;
- Take a cooking class;
- Go fishing;
- Lay down on blanket outside and look up at the sky;
- Have a thumb war with your nephew;
- Plan a travel adventure with your partner;
- Get a tattoo;
- Walk around the block and say 'yo' to every person you pass;
- Randomly do 30 pushups;
- Challenge your mate to a pushup competition;
- Do your first ever yoga class;
- Go to the botanical gardens and smell flowers;
- Buy steaks and have a BBQ at the beach;
- Call your best friend and ask them what the best three pieces of advice they ever got were;
- Start a herb garden on your balcony;
- Sign up for a half marathon for charity;
- Go to a beach and look under rocks for crabs;
- Call your brother on private number and try and convince him that he's won lotto;
- Put on a YouTube playlist and dance in your lounge room;
- Cook a seafood paella;
- Organise a game of paintball;
- Sit down in the sun and set three new goals;
- Turn the TV off and just sit in silence on the lounge for 10 minutes;
- Throw out all of your clothes that don't fit;
- Mow the lawn;
- Sharpen the knives in your kitchen;
- Apologise to someone that you owe an apology to;
- Make some breadcrumbs from scratch;
- See if you friend is keen for one beer;
- Walk out your front door with a bag and pick up the first 20 pieces of rubbish you see and dispose;
- Go to the cinemas;
- Invite your cousin for sushi;
- Teach said cousin how to use chopsticks;
- Create an inspiration board;
- Write a letter to the editor of a fitness magazine;
- Go and see your GP for the first time in 7 years;
- Get a haircut;
- Go and read for free at a library or bookshop;
- Just randomly drive somewhere you've never been;
- Rearrange your room so it feels spiced up again;
- Start a blog on your favourite subject;
- Turn up at your grandma's house unannounced with flowers;
- Prepare lunch for work tomorrow;
- Make a list of all of the countries you have been;
- Make a list of all of the countries you wish to go;
- Sign up for a language course;
- Write a physical love note and sent it to your partner's workplace;
- Develop your own signature cocktail from scratch;
- Talk to your partner, actually listen;
- Give in to your girlfriend's insistence on giving you a cleansing face mask;
- Have a bath (but only a short one, it's not good for your sperm count);
- Sign up for a Tough Mudder event;
- Record yourself singing to your favourite tune and then play it back to yourself;
- Have a laugh - YouTube search "Bash The Entertainer"... hahahahahahah;
- Go and jump in your pool without thinking. Then get out and act as if nothing happened;
- Get nude and do some stretches;
- Go on Wikipedia, search your favourite sporting team and then start clicking; See where you end up in 10 mins;
- Go outside at night and sprint past a speed camera and try to make it flash;
- Take a photo of your TV, put it on Gumtree at a ridiculously inflated price and see if you get a call;
- Take a free 3-day trial at a gym;
- Knock on your neighbours door and ask them if they'd like you to water their plants;
- Buy a set of 1000 thread count sheets off eBay; Treat yourself;
- Turn the lights off, put a candle on and try to meditate. Concentrate on just breathing;
- Walk up and down your staircase 8 times;
- Have a picnic on the cliff above the headland;
- Research "best bush walks" and make a plan to hit it this weekend;
- Find three new recipes that will put you out of your cooking comfort zone and attempt this week;
- Research one new restaurant so you have an option when one of the above three inevitably fails;
- Grab a handful of grapes and sit opposite your parter and try to throw into each other's mouth;
- Buy a kindle so you can download eBooks and improve your reading rate;
- Scrub your BBQ clean so it's ready for summer;
- Paint a feature wall in your house;
- Make a biltong box;
- Plan your New Years Eve celebration early;
- Call your mate and ask him if he is ok;
- Lie in the bath and drink a glass of wine;
- Detail your car inside and outside so it smells new for the weekend;
- Ring around your buddies and start a touch football team;
- Go to bed early; like real early just to mix it up a bit;
- Take your son to a live football match;
- Sit on the balcony with a cup of tea and people-watch;
- Prepare a savings budget;
- Colour-in with your niece... really get into it;
- Go and watch the sunset by yourself;
- Buy your dad a pair of socks and leave a note inside of them telling him why he is awesome;
- Go to a comedy night;
- Join a bootcamp group;
- Go for a thai massage; don't pay extra just for a challenge;
- Volunteer to teach English to settled refugees;
- Start a gratitude journal and write your first entry;
- Subscribe to my blog emails so you never have to watch TV again... unless it's sport!
There you go, plenty of options. TV sounds boring now... I've got a biltong box to make....
Comment your favourites or tell me your own... I'd like that.. JS