Saturday, 27 August 2011

scary thoughts involving mathematics and the X factor

I heard a few weeks ago that a couple of researchers have discovered that if you watch an hour of television after the age of about twenty five, you lose twenty two minutes off your life.  The Guardian ran an article here that explains the whys and wherefores far more accurately and succinctly than I can.

I have, however, taken the opportunity to sit down with a post-it note and a calculator.  If you are of a mathematical disposition, please feel free to check my sums.  I have checked them myself, twice, but am so stunned by the figures that I wonder if I haven't made a mistake.

Here goes.

I am now 44.  That's 19 years of television watching since I was 25.

Before we start, please bear in mind, my variables.

- firstly, I am going to work out days wasted in relation to waking hours (each day as 16 hours of awake time, approximately)
- secondly, I am going to assume that I didn't watch television on holiday (each year is therefore 50 weeks long)
- thirdly, I am going to reduce the adult years I've been watching television by 1.5 as the Worker and I had a lovely trip just before we got married

So.....

It's 19 years less 1.5 travelling years of watching television  
TOTAL 17.5 years = 875 weeks (based on a 50 week year)  = 6,125 days (wow)

I would estimate, conservatively, that  I watch 2 hours of television per day (not including DVDs).  This would work out to be 13,250 hours (yikes)

Based on the assumption that every hour loses me 22 minutes, my calculation runs something like this.

13,250 (hours watched) x 22 (minutes lost) =  291,500 minutes (4,858 hours)  lost from my life

4,858 divided by 16 hours = 303 working days lost, gone, almost a year - how scary is that.

In addition to the 303 hours I've potentially lost, I've also wasted 828 entire working awake days watching the flickery box in the corner.  That's 1,133 days, over 3 years.  Gone.  And that's a conservative estimate.

I can't bring myself to write about the highs and lows of my televisual viewing.  However it's definitely time to  'switch off the television set and go and do something less boring instead'

Are you brave enough to do the telly maths?

5 comments:

Fran said...

We did 20 years without a telly when the kids were growing up. I think I still have some time in lieu ...

marigold jam said...

For those of us who wonder why we are not like everyone else in many ways one of which is not enjoying watching TV and who watch perhaps 2 hours in a week if that this news item was quite a boost to the morale!! I wouldn't take it all to seriously though as recently when at the surgery with an infected insect bite on my ankle the nurse told me I should sit down more to prevent varicose veins developing! So I guess as with most things in life it is swings and roundabouts - you will die when you die of something or another and it might just as well be from sitting down watching TV as from heart disease due to never relaxing!! You pays your money and takes your choice and I'd say moderation in all things is the key eh?!!

projectforty said...

I have mooted the idea of TV-free nights. The room went very quiet. I have tried to knit/sew/crochet whilst watching but I receive complaints!

hausfrau said...

I'm not going to do the sum because I'm certain it would be at least as bad as yours! I think this is one for the More or Less team at Radio 4 who do wonderful investigations into the maths behind the news: highly recommended listening!
PS My mother knits while watching TV and is fond of remarking that it makes very bad radio.

Only Me said...

I can't do it - it's too scary!