A large proportion of highly active men watch more television than their low-active peers do. In contrast, highly active women watch less television than low-active women do.
Previous studies have found prolonged television time to be more harmful to health than other domains of sedentariness. A recent longitudinal study with a ten-year follow-up examined how the television viewing time of Finnish adults was associated with their physical activity level during leisure-time.
The results showed that maintaining a high level of leisure-time physical activity was accompanied by less television viewing time for women. High television time (3 hours or more per day) especially was more prevalent among low-active women than it was among highly active women.
Surprisingly, highly active men tended to watch more television (approximately 2 hours per day) than did their low-active peers, who tended to watch television one hour or less a day. Highly active men seemed to have time for physical activity as well as television viewing.
The researchers thought about the reasons behind the differences between genders.
One reason might be the different motivations men and women have for participating in physical activities. According to a previous study, men have more intrinsic orientation, meaning mastery and competition, whereas women have more extrinsic orientation, for example appearance and physical condition. Additionally, women are usually more health-conscious than men are. Thus, the health consciousness of physically active women may have an additive effect on their decision-making regarding television viewing as well." Xiaolin Yang, senior researcher from the LIKES Research Centre for Physical Activity and Health Related Stories
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