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Distance Running Injurious to Television Watchers

I sat down to read the Boston Globe this morning. I thought I'd seen it all. But consider this headline.


“Distance Running Found Injurious to Television Watchers”.   You heard it here second!


If you like watching television I now have to warn you that distance running may be harmful to you. I would have thought differently.   I considered it the perfect blend. Half couch potato, half road warrior.   Exercise, rest, exercise, rest. Isn't that what we need?


Apparently not according to the oddly titled advocacy group the “New Organization for Healthful Daily Television Viewing”.   In a study funded by, you guessed it, - a conglomeration of major networks, three health risks have been identified within a group of viewers whose daily routine included over an hour of each.   I'll explain them to you in laymen's terms.


#1. Social Withdrawal – The combined time of running and viewing seriously reduced the viewers' social interactions, particularly with their spouse. Though not gender specific, this was much more pronounced in males.   The advocacy group declared that sitting for two hours in front of the television with a spouse, as opposed to one hour watching and one hour running increased “proximal connections” by 50%. The researchers considered the possibility that running with a group of friends or a spouse might actually increase social interaction, but declared any benefit outweighed by the stress of having to run at someone else's pace.


#2. Reduced Viewing Pleasure – In a survey of “1,000 running viewers”, after one month of equal time spent on each, 78% of respondents reported far greater pleasure from running than from viewing. According to a spokesperson, “It is becoming obvious that running considerably diminishes the viewing experience. Any serious television viewer should be aware that running and

television don't mix. Their entire viewing experience could be ruined by trying to accomplish both.”


#3. Runner's Cramp – A high incidence of lower leg cramps was found in watchers who ran just prior to their favorite television program.   If they dashed straight from the streets to their chair, when extending their toes on the leg rest they would “often experience acute cramping in their calves”.


Pay heed to the final recommendation from the NOHDTV. “We have found it much healthier to concentrate on longer television viewing than to trying to mix it with high risk activities such as running.”


When I pick up the paper tomorrow I can already predict the headline. “Twinkie Eaters Warned to Avoid Yoga.”