Free Yourself From TV

Break the Boob Tube Habit

According to the A.C. Nielsen Company, the average American adult watches four hours of television each day. Some tips on cutting back:

Carve out TV-free times, recommends Frank Vespe, executive director of the TV Turnoff Network, an organization dedicated to improving quality of life through turning off the tube. Vespe advocates eliminating television during mealtimes, when first waking up, and right before bedtime.

Allot a TV-watching budget, says Louis V. Imhof of the Institute for Fitness and Health. Each Sunday, check the newspaper for the weekly listings, and highlight only six hours of program­ming to watch for that week.

Use a VCR to record shows, suggests White Dot, a Britain-based an ti-television organization. This lets you watch television on your own time and keeps you from getting sucked into watching that mediocre show wedged in between two better shows.

Remove the batteries from your remote control and watch television the old-fashioned way, advises Trevor Mowad, a sports-psychology consultant who motivates professional athletes. This eliminates the tendency to jump from channel to channel looking for something to watch.

Find an alternate outlet for television time. “Make a reading list, take a class, or learn a language,” Vespe offers. “We had one woman plant a vegetable garden, and each time she harvested a vegetable, she knew it was created from her not watching television.”