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Adolescence. 1986 Winter;21(84):797-806.

The relationship of television viewing to physical fitness and obesity.


The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which light, moderate, and heavy television viewing relates to multiple measures of obesity and physical fitness among 379 high school males. The Body Mass Index and Tucker's Perceived Somatotype Scale were employed to assess obesity; physical fitness was measured by six tests: pushups, pullups, sidestep, long jump, situps, and jog-walk. Results showed that light television viewers scored significantly better than heavy viewers on a composite fitness index and on pushups, pullups, sidestep, situps, and jog-walk considered individually. Similarly, light viewers performed better than moderate viewers on the composite fitness measure and on pushups, pullups, and jog-walk. Light viewers displayed a strong tendency toward better fitness than moderate viewers on the long jump, situps, and sidestep tests, although statistical significance was not attained. Light viewers were not significantly less obese than moderate or heavy viewers. Statistical control of the demographic variables, applied simultaneously, had little influence on the associations found in this study. The findings indicate that for purposes of good physical fitness, television viewing should be limited to one hour or less per day.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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