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December 20th, 2011

Q.I am 79 years old and have never been a social person. I don t like to go out to dances and other things my wife likes to do. But recently she s been telling me that I should go out more and that I spend too much time watching television. Is this really so bad for me?

A. One recent survey showed that many Americans 65-plus spend over half of their leisure time watching television. While this isn t inherently harmful, it can interfere with other activities that may be good for your health. It s true that people with active social networks very often have better physical and mental health than people who are isolated. But an active social network differs for everyone. If you don t like crowds, have dinner with your family or talk on the phone to a good friend. Watching TV may also keep you from being physically active, so take a break during the day and go for a walk or do something else you enjoy. 

Roberta Feldhausen, P.M.H.C.N.S., B.C.

Director of Mental Health Services,



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