Monday, February 15, 2010

Sitting Too Close to the TV

Throughout my childhood my mother always told me that sitting too close to the television will rot my eyes out. I did believe this especially as I got older because it just seemed to me as a commonsense thing that everyone knows and agrees on. I believed this without any scientific evidence and just accepted it much like the cases that have been presented in the book and the class to us. I never felt the need to question it and felt that it was a fact that was just accepted and was just something that is. I didn't need the scientific evidence behind it to believe it because it was something I just accepted.
I have looked at some studies to see if my mom was right and if sitting too close to the television will in fact damage your eyes. Initially there is some truth behind this commonly believed myth. In the early development and production of televisions about 70 years ago, they emanated
a certain level of radiation that with repeated and extended exposure could heighten the risk of eye problems. So in the 1950s this myth was actually true and supported by relatively reliable medical evidence and tests. So it seems in the 1950s that my mother was right.
However since it is not 1950 anymore and televisions are made completely differently then they used to be this once fact now becomes myth. The way that televisions are produced today they are built with proper shielding and even though they do give off radiation you are completely protected from it. So this once fact now with time has become a myth. While sitting and staring at the television for hours on end and as close or far away as you want may not cause eye damage anymore it can result in eye strain or be an indicator of poor vision. Eye strain can easily be avoided by not staring at the television for hours on end and many parents should take notice of their child creeping closer to the television because its an indicator of bad vision. Overall sitting too close to the television will not damage your eyes so feel free to sit as close as you want.


  1. I remember my mom always used to yell at me for that too. Actually, she still does, but I think that even if I were to show her this evidence that it's not true, she'd go right on believing that it is.

  2. My parents use to say the same thing about sitting to close to the tv, I think it's just an old wives tale.

  3. I agree with everyone, I used to sit close to the television all the time growing up and the myth never seemed to phase me. Most of the time I sat closer to the T.V. to make my mom mad. Today, my vision is pretty good and I don't have glasses.