Sitting 4 Hours a Day In Front of a TV or Computer May Double Your Risk of Heart Attack

A new British study, published in the Jan. 18 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, has found that sitting too long watching TV or in front of a computer screen may increase risk for heart disease and even shorten your life.

In fact, the study found that if you spend four hours a day or more watching TV, using the computer or playing video games, you are more than two times more likely to suffer a heart attack, stroke, heart failure or die.

As reported Monday, Jan. 10 by HealthDay News, lead researcher Emmanuel Stamatakis, a senior research associate in the department of epidemiology and public health at University College London, was quoted as saying: “Our research suggests that screen time and perhaps sitting in general can be very detrimental for overall and cardiovascular health.”

“Given that the large majority of people of working age have sedentary jobs and spend long periods of time commuting or driving, which involve even more sitting, leisure time should involve as little sitting and as much movement as possible,” he said.

The study was conducted over a period of more than 4 years, based on data collected from 4,512 Scottish survey participants.  During the study period,  325 of these people died and 215 had a cardiovascular event, the researchers reported.

The research found that those who spent four or more hours a day either watching TV or in front of a computer screen had a 48% higher risk of dying from any cause, and a 125% higher risk of having a heart attack, stroke or heart failure than those who spent less than two hours per day in front of a screen.  This was the case, even after taking into account other risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, weight, social class and exercise, the researchers reported.

Surprisingly, “participation in exercise did not seem to mitigate against the harms associated with excessive screen times,” according to the lead researcher.

Certain biological factors were also associated with higher risk.  Inflammation, overweight, and high cholesterol, when combined with sitting, may increase the risk for cardiovascular events, the researchers said.

To stay healthy, the researchers advocated spending less time watching TV, and suggested that  the three or four hours per day that many people spend in front of a TV is excessive.  Instead, spend some of this time engaged in physical activity, which is beneficial to health.  The study highlighted the cardiovascular risks of a sedentary lifestyle.

Obtain the full text of the Study from the Journal of the American College of Cardiology

Read News Report at » Too Much TV May Be Linked to Heart Attack, Death Risk: MedlinePlus.


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