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B. Are We a Nation of Couch Potatoes?

Narrator: This is Science Today. Americans spend nine times as much time per day watching television or movies than they do on sports, exercise and all other leisure-time physical activities combined. Gladys Block, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley's School of Public Health, says considering the obesity rates in this country, their study on human energy expenditure is a wake-up call for the nation.

Block: We need to recognize how very inactive we are as a society because it's only when we recognize it that we are going to actually take some action to try to build it into our everyday lives more and we need to take ourselves in hand about TV watching.

Narrator: Leisure time physical activities, such as jogging or going to the gym, were at the bottom of our priority list.

Block: People come home at the end of the day and they're tired and they sit down in front of the TV and then basically, the rest of the evening is gone. So we need to be more conscious about how much time we're spending.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.