It's taken twenty-five years to complete the study, but the latest research from Evesham Sports College indicates that for every hour spent watching TV, life expectancy is reduced by twenty-two minutes.
"This means," said Teri Vizien, who headed up the later part of the study, "if you watch re-runs of Top Gear on Dave you've already seen, not only is it informing you about cars no longer sold, nor is it an hour you won't get back, it is an hour and twenty-two minutes of your life wasted."
Vizien took over the study after her predecessor watched nineteen hours of TV a day and died aged thirty-five when he got hit by a bus.
There is hope for the hopeless couch potato.
"We have discovered a few ways to mitigate the expectancy decrease," said Vizien. "Firstly, only watch comedies. Ones that make you laugh, so that excludes Friends and **** My Dad Says, basically any comedy on E4. Laughter extends life span, so should reduce the problem. Alternatively, every fifteen minutes spent exercising increases life expectancy by five minutes. If you want to watch Torchwood, which is an hour long, you'll need to go for a two hour jog. This could be reduced somewhat as the program is so ridiculous you'll be laughing as well."
Apparently, sprinting into the kitchen for biscuits during the ad break does not count as exercise, although the hunt for the remote control does.
Vizien has been studiously exercising and avoiding TV for the duration of the study, and expects to have added a good twenty to twenty-five years to her life.
"As all this exercise is ruining my joints," said Vizien. "I expect I'll spend my retirement confined to a chair watching all the programs I didn't watch now."