To Your Health
December, 2014 (Vol. 08, Issue 12)
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When the Couch Kills

By Editorial Staff

Couch potato is urban slang for a person who spends too much time sitting on the couch watching television. In our increasingly health-aware culture, the couch potato has come to personify poor health attributable to lack of exercise and improper eating habits – snacking on chips and other processed, nutrient-empty foods while watching TV.

But that's not where the health risks end. Sitting on the couch isn't the only couch behavior that can be harmful to your health; studies suggest infant sofa sleeping is as dangerous as other inappropriate sleep positions in terms of increasing the risk of preventable infant death. According to a study in Pediatrics, an analysis of infant deaths from 2004-2012 revealed 1,024 deaths across 24 states, accounting for nearly 13 percent of sleep-related infant deaths. Researchers emphasized the gravity of the situation in their concluding remarks, stating: "Deaths on sofas are associated with surface sharing, being found on the side, changing sleep location, and experiencing prenatal tobacco exposure, which are all risk factors for sudden-infant death syndrome [SIDS] and sleep-related deaths."

To learn more about SIDS and how to keep your baby safe, visit