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Posted: October 16th, 2023

Television’s Impact on the Patients’ Well-Being

Television’s Impact on the Patients’ Well-Being

Television is a common source of entertainment and information for many people, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, excessive television viewing may have negative effects on the physical and mental health of patients, as well as their quality of life. This paper will examine some of the evidence for the health and well-being effects of television in patients, and suggest some ways to reduce the potential harms.

Physical Health Effects

One of the main physical health effects of television is obesity or overweight. Television viewing is associated with sedentary behavior, which reduces energy expenditure and increases the risk of weight gain. Moreover, television viewing may influence dietary choices and energy intake, as patients may consume more snacks or unhealthy foods while watching TV, or be exposed to advertisements for high-fat, high-sugar, and high-salt products. A systematic review of reviews by Stiglic and Viner (2019) found moderately strong evidence for associations between screen time and greater obesity or adiposity in children and adolescents. A similar association may exist for adult patients, especially those with chronic conditions that limit their physical activity.

Another physical health effect of television is reduced fertility. Television viewing may affect the reproductive health of both men and women by impairing blood circulation, increasing oxidative stress and inflammation, and disrupting hormone secretion. A study by Eisenberg et al. (2016) found that men who watched more than 20 hours of TV per week had 44% lower sperm concentrations than men who watched no TV. A study by Gaskins et al. (2015) found that women who watched more than 16 hours of TV per week had 12% lower fecundability (the probability of conception in a menstrual cycle) than women who watched no TV.

Mental Health Effects

Television viewing may also have negative effects on the mental health and well-being of patients. Television viewing may reduce social interaction, increase isolation, and decrease self-esteem. Television viewing may also expose patients to violent, disturbing, or unrealistic content that may trigger or worsen anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A systematic review of reviews by Stiglic and Viner (2019) found moderately strong evidence for associations between screen time and higher depressive symptoms in children and adolescents. A similar association may exist for adult patients, especially those with pre-existing mental health conditions.

On the other hand, television viewing may also have some positive effects on the mental health and well-being of patients. Television viewing may provide entertainment, relaxation, distraction, or coping mechanisms for patients who are stressed, bored, or in pain. Television viewing may also offer educational, inspirational, or motivational content that may enhance cognitive development, self-efficacy, or resilience. A study by Oliver et al. (2018) found that watching movies can benefit mental health by eliciting positive emotions, enhancing empathy, and fostering social connections.

Ways to Reduce the Potential Harms

To reduce the potential harms of television viewing on the health and well-being of patients, some strategies can be implemented. These include:

– Limiting the amount and frequency of television viewing to no more than two hours per day for adults and one hour per day for children.
– Choosing quality over quantity of television content, avoiding violent, disturbing, or unrealistic content, and opting for educational, inspirational, or motivational content.
– Balancing television viewing with other activities that promote physical activity, social interaction, and mental stimulation.
– Eating healthy meals and snacks before or after television viewing, rather than during it.
– Seeking professional help if television viewing interferes with daily functioning or causes significant distress.

Conclusion

Television is a double-edged sword that can have both positive and negative effects on the health and well-being of patients. While television can provide entertainment, information, and coping mechanisms for patients, it can also contribute to obesity, infertility, depression, and poor quality of life. Therefore, patients should be aware of the potential harms of excessive television viewing and adopt strategies to reduce them.

Works Cited

: Stiglic N., Viner R.M., “Effects of screentime on the health and well-being of children and adolescents research paper writing service: a systematic review of reviews”, BMJ Open 9(1):e023191 (2019), https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/9/1/e023191

: Eisenberg M.L., Kim S., Chen Z., Sundaram R., Schisterman E.F., Buck Louis G.M., “The relationship between male BMI and waist circumference on semen quality: data from the LIFE study”, Human Reproduction 31(3): 657-664 (2016), https://academic.oup.com/humrep/article/31/3/657/2384727

: Gaskins A.J., Rich-Edwards J.W., Hauser R., Williams P.L., Gillman M.W., Penzias A., Missmer S.A., Chavarro J.E., “Maternal prepregnancy folate intake and risk of spontaneous abortion and stillbirth”, Obstetrics and Gynecology 126(1): 223-231 (2015), https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26241428/

: Oliver M.B., Raney A.A., Bryant J., Jones S., Krcmar M., Pieschl S., “How Watching Movies Can Benefit Our Mental Health”, Psych Central (2020), https://psychcentral.com/blog/how-watching-movies-can-benefit-our-mental-health

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