US researchers conducting a randomized controlled trial found that adults weighing above the healthy range could burn more calories by watching less television: trial participants who cut their television viewing time in half were more active and on average burned an extra 120 more calories a day.
The study was the work of researchers at the University of Vermont in Burlington, and appears in the 14 December issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. The US Department of Agriculture's Hatch Funds Act and the National Institutes of Health funded the research.
Lead author Dr Jennifer Otten, who is now a postdoctoral scholar at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, told the press that:
"Taking away time spent in front of the television has the potential to improve a person's activity levels."
The average American adult spends five hours a day watching TV: the third most time consuming activity in the US, after sleep and work.