Television Is the Only Thing Standing Between Kids and Athletic Superstardom

Illustration for article titled Television Is the Only Thing Standing Between Kids and Athletic Superstardom

If you're wondering why you're not getting boozed up all the time, hanging out with Vince Vaughn, and playing soccer for money like Hope Solo, it's probably because your parents didn't regulate your TV-watching when you were young, thus depriving you of the chance at a multi-million dollar endorsement deal with Vitamin Water.


According to a new study published in the Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, the amount of time children spend watching TV directly correlates to their capacity for explosive leg strength as they age (explosive leg strength being one of the key barometers for athletic prowess). The study also found that kids who watch a lot of TV tend to need bigger pants, but that didn't seem to surprise anyone. The study found that zonking out in front of the TV and watching all the Gilligan's Island reruns sets kids up for a lifetime of obesity and lassitude, when they might instead be exploding upwards out of a squat on their way to dunking basketballs over Lebron James' befuddled head.

Watching more television in early childhood forecasted lesser performance on a test of explosive muscular strength in later childhood .... This suggests that for some children, excessive television exposure was associated with the experience of a substantial level of impairment.


Working with researchers at the University of Montreal, lead researcher Caroline Fitzpatrick from NYU studied 1,314 in Quebec, taking note of how much time they spent in front of the television from ages 29 months to 53 months. As second-graders, the kids were cruelly asked to perform the physical feat of jumping from a stand-still. Those that had watched more TV recorded much shorter standing long-jumps than their more rambunctious peers. The study didn't offer any recommended cut-off for TV-watching, though it did warn that each hour of TV past 29 months would result in diminished athletic performance

Want your kid to be an athlete? Turn off the TV, study suggest [L.A. Times]

Image via Lucky Business/Shutterstock.

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Oh Darn! So my excessive clumsiness and my double astigmatism can no longer be blamed for my utter lack of athletic prowess? Explain that to my grade school gym teachers...all the Cs they gave me f*cked up my report cards.