Watching TV for three hours a day can be deadly doubling your risk of dying early, warn researchers. A new study from Spain adds to evidence that time spent in front of the box is potentially life threatening. Researchers believe too much sitting as opposed to insufficient activity may be a new risk factor for premature death and illness such as diabetes and heart disease.
Professor Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez, chair of the Department of Public Health at the University of Navarra in Pamplona, who led the study, told the Daiy Mail. “Television viewing is a major sedentary behaviour and there is an increasing trend toward all types of sedentary behaviours. Our findings are consistent with a range of previous studies where time spent watching television was linked to mortality”.
The risk of premature death was twofold higher for those watching three or more hours of TV a day compared to those watching one hour or less. This twofold higher risk was also apparent after accounting for many other variables related to a higher risk of death, says a report published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
Researchers found no significant association between the time spent using a computer or driving and higher risk of premature death from all causes. However researchers say further studies are needed to determine the biological mechanisms that may be involved.
Prof Martinez-Gonzalez said “As the population ages, sedentary behaviours will become more prevalent, especially watching television, and this poses an additional burden on the increased health problems related to aging Our findings suggest adults may consider increasing their physical activity, avoid long sedentary periods, and reduce television watching to no longer than one to two hours each day”, he added.
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