According to statistics, an average American spends nearly 5 hours every day watching TV, closely followed by Japanese, Italians, Poles, Russians and so on. As a result, many of us suffer from obesity, heart disease and many other side effects. It's comforting that many, especially young people, start opting for other forms of spending their free time, often very active ones such as jogging, biking or even going for a walk. We definitely want more people to do the same, as this will make our societies fitter and less prone to health problems. Here's a tool that will show you the benefits of cutting some of your TV time and spending it in other ways. You won't regret it, guaranteed!
Biking instead of watching TV
A group of Dutch scientists ran a research project which proved that biking regularly makes us healthier and even prolongs our lives. We based our bike life gain calculator on their work and used the same functionalities above. Based on your age and time spent biking, we can approximately tell you how long, on average, it should prolong your life. We assume you bike at the regular speed people commute. If you're a pro and put much more effort into your rides, we believe it should give you even more health benefits.
Jogging instead of watching TV
Here we used a simple formula for burning calories during various activities that take into consideration the so-called Metabolic Equivalent of Task (MET). We're giving you several options, starting from slow walks to sprinting at your top speed and here are all the options available:
- walking (slow pace) - walk at the rate of 1-2 mph (1.6-3.2 kph) - so a very slow stroll
- walking (average pace) - averaging 2-2.5 mph (3.2-4 kph) - a regular walk that probably won't get you tired
- walking (fast) - not running yet but moving at around 3.5 mph (5.6 kph)
- jogging (average pace) - average jog at about 4.5 mph (7.2 kph)
- jogging (fast pace) - this one is a bit faster and might get you tired at some point, an average speed of 6 mph (9.6 kph)
- running (very fast) - fast run at the rate of around 10 mph (16 kph). If you can keep up this pace for an hour or two - you're in good shape!
We used these MET values. For both biking and running, we assumed we use the popular equation that states that we lose a kilogram of body weight for every 7,700 calories burned (keep in mind that's a very approximate value). Formulas used here were featured before in our Pokemon GO weight loss calculator.
Reading instead of watching TV
If you're not into biking or running or simply need one more activity to kill your free time, consider reading a book. At the average adult pace of 200 words per minute, you should be able to finish an average-sized book in roughly 5 or 6 hours. If you stick to your reading plan, that could mean hundreds of fantastic books read every year. For this and other methods of measuring the number of books read, check out our reading speed calculator.
Learning instead of watching TV
There are so many useful things you could learn in your free time. With the abundance of online courses, you could learn a new skill, practice a foreign language, or sign up for cooking or karate classes. Many of these things will make you a better employee, will allow you to meet new people, build a great friendship, and maybe impact your community in a good way. Try it out!
Please note that all the results from this calculator are approximate and also depend on your predispositions as well as external factors. We based the results on real data, popular formulas, and research projects, so they make a lot of sense.