Scientists did a calorimetric test to determine energy consumption while watching TV. What they found surprised them. They found that on average people watching TV consumed ten per cent less energy than normal resting energy consumption. That's right, you actually consume more energy sitting there doing nothing than when you are watching TV.

There is a simple explanation. It seems that this is due to the concentration people exert while watching TV reducing the amount of fidgeting and random movement people do.

While fidgeting may be a major part of one’s resting energy use, thinking uses up energy, too. The neurons in the brain aren’t very good at holding their own energy for long, so glial cells in the brain constantly transfer energy to the brain cells, energy taken from the blood. So if you keep your body steady but try solving a differential equation, you’ll probably find yourself losing more energy than while sitting and doing nothing at all.

Of-course, TV excites neurons in the primary visual areas, but perhaps that’s, on average, as far as it goes ;). We may lose less calories watching TV because we're not using our brains to think, only to watch...

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