‘Don’t Sit Too Close to the TV Set – This Will Damage Your Eyesight!’ Is There Any Truth in It?

    ‘Don’t Sit Too Close to the TV Set – This Will Damage Your Eyesight!’ Is There Any Truth in It?

    11:29 AM EDT, April 9, 2022

    I bet most of us have been told at least once in our lives not to watch TV sitting to close to the TV set. Is this piece of advice really rational?

    'Don't sit too close!'

    Your parents must have told you that a few times -'If you sit too close to the TV set, your eyesight will deteriorate.' Is this, however, scientifically proven to be true?

    Jessica Lewis/unsplash
    Jessica Lewis/unsplash

    The answer could be somewhat surprising. Watching TV from a short distance is not harmful for our eyes. The screens do not generate any harmful radiation that would impair our sight. It refers both modern screens and those emitting the so-called 'blue light'. The research has not proven the LED light to have any negative influence on our eyesight.


    The only negative consequence of watching TV from a short distance is eyestrain. They symptoms of eyestrain include lacrimation (tears), headaches, blurred vision and a feeling you have sand grains beneath your eyelids. The same symptoms are reported after long hours of driving, using a smartphone, several hours of reading books or working on a computer.

    Ron Hamlin/unsplash
    Ron Hamlin/unsplash

    Where did the myth of harmful influence of watching TV come from?

    TVs became very popular in USA in 1960's. It was an integral part of every living room. In 1967 a company called General Electric released a batch of faulty color TV sets. It turned out that due to a technological error the sets emitted X-ray radiation 10 – 100,000 times stronger than standards currently in force. The TVs were removed from the market and their screens were covered with lead-based paint.

    Bruna Araujo/unsplash
    Bruna Araujo/unsplash

    In the end the experts concluded that excessive radiation should not be harmful to TV viewers. However, to prevent any danger, it was recommended that kids stay as far from the TV sets as possible and that they should never watch TV more than an hour per day. This event contributed to forming the myth that TVs are harmful for our health.

    How much time do you spend watching TV?
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