02/07/2013 08:31 am ET Updated Feb 07, 2013

TV Health Problems: Why You Should Turn It Off

We love Downton Abbey as much as the next red-blooded television owner, but recent news has made us a bit squeamish about plopping down in front of the tube. Sure, there are some benefits to TV viewing: for example, a pair of studies published last September found that watching a rerun of a favorite show could help people muster up willpower and emotional energy.

But on balance, the news isn't good: TV viewing a la American -- meaning 2.5 to three hours per day, according to the latest numbers -- increases risk for diabetes, heart disease, obesity, attention problems and weight gain in children and, well, death.

And just this week, we learned more sobering news: Watching 20 hours of television per week was associated with a 44 percent reduction in sperm. That got us thinking about all the ways that television viewing can contribute to other health concerns -- here are seven reasons to power down and get off the couch:



Why You Should Turn Off The TV