I couldn’t help but notice the news splashed all over every newspaper that, ‘Britons too lazy to switch channels’ (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/feedarticle/8649190). The truth is I recognised this syndrome straight away, as I’m sure, did a lot of other people. I’ve been in my comfy armchair watching some utter rubbish, tired after a long hard day at work and the remote control is across the room on the sofa. It’s just too much effort to get up.
But why is it too much like hard work? Well first off there is the mental block, the ones gyms recognise straight away. My gym has a sign on the wall as you walk in that says, ‘well done, that’s the hard bit over’, and you know what, they’re right! Our imaginations run wild with the pain and torment that comes with the slightest physical activity. Humans have evolved to expend as little energy as possible, once a great skill when you had to hunt your own food.
The other great block to finding the impetuous to get up and change the channel is because you know there is nothing on worth looking at. You can cycle through the other 30 – 300 channels and you won’t find anything better than the rubbish you are watching, that isn’t a repeat. So why bother going through the effort of getting up? Why not just watch the remake of the Poseidon Adventure, again?
Now I don’t want to get all sanctimonious but my life improved significantly when I decided to cut TV out as much as possible. I have to admit that ‘watch again’ has helped as I can watch the programmes I want to see without having to be tied to a schedule (Dragons Den). It’s really quite liberating to say to heck with the TV listings I’m going to plan my life around other things.
Those brief few moments between the end of the commute home from work and sleep should be treasured. Join the gym and go after work, do a pottery class, learn French (or English), write the book of your life, go see a friend, take up painting, go for a walk, join a badminton group, join a book group. Do anything but watch TV. Less TV means less snacking and more calories burnt and that’s a kick in the teeth for the diabetes.