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iVillage.com: Indulging in Guilty Pleasures

Watching TV

Why it’s OK: There’s a reason we tune into our favorite shows every week: We’re emotionally invested in our beloved characters because they keep us company and bring us comfort, according to research in the journal "Mass Communication and Society." Sitcoms and movies that make us laugh can also boost feel-good endorphins and reduce stress.

When to indulge: Keep your screen time to under two hours a day. You can even downgrade your couch-potato status by using the exercise bike or treadmill while watching your favorite shows. Not the treadmill type? Just get up and walk around during commercials. And keep those hands out of the potato chips!

Don’t overdo it: Women who watch three to four hours of TV daily are twice as likely to be obese as those who tune in for under one. So, unless you watch TV standing up, being glued to the tube could lead to an early demise. A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that logging six hours a day in front of your screen could subtract five years from your life.

(Credit: Newton Daly/Lifesize/Getty Images)
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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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