Menu Close

Watching too much TV may increase risk for serious blood clots, say researchers

Black Dude Watching TV Photo: EURWeb

*Health experts suggest getting up and walking around while watching TV can enhance  consumers’ long-term health

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Several recent studies have highlighted the risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle, and now a fresh study by researchers from the European Society of Cardiology identified a link between too much TV watching and blood clots.

The study findings indicated that sitting down and watching TV for several hours in a row – without regularly getting up and taking a break – may increase consumers’ risk for fatal blood clots.

ConsumerConnect learnt Dr. Setor Kunutsor, one of the researchers, said: “Prolonged TV viewing involves immobilisation which is a risk factor for venous thromboembolism (VTE).

“This is why people are encouraged to move around after surgery, or during a long-haul flight.”

Dr. Kunutsor also stated: “In addition, when you sit in a cramped position for long periods, blood pools in your extremities rather than circulating, and this can cause blood clots.

“Finally, binge-watchers tend to eat unhealthy snacks, which may lead to obesity and high blood pressure, which both raise the likelihood of blood clots.”

In exploring prioritisation of TV-watching breaks for the study, the researchers analysed three earlier studies that included information on more than 131,000 participants over the age of 40.

The participants answered questions about their typical TV-watching habits, and the researchers followed up with them over the course of nearly 20 years to monitor their health outcomes, report stated.

“All three studies adjusted for these factors (age, sex, body mass index, and physical activity) since they are strongly related to the risk of VTE; for instance, older age, higher BMI, and physical inactivity are linked with an increased risk of VTE.

“The findings indicate that regardless of physical activity, your BMI, how old you are, and your gender, watching many hours of television is a risky activity with regard to developing blood clots,” Dr. Kunutsor said.

Ultimately, the study indicated that watching TV for at least four hours per day may make VTE 1.35 times more likely, compared with participants who watched less than 2.5 hours per day.

Kunutsor further opined: “If you are going to binge on TV, you need to take breaks. You can stand and stretch every 30 minutes or use a stationary bike. And avoid combining television with unhealthy snacking.”

Going forward, the researchers hope consumers understand the importance of mixing in physical activity with long periods of sitting down and watching TV.

According to the health experts, that is the best way for consumers to protect their long-term health.

Dr. Kunutsor added: “Our results suggest that we should limit the time we spend in front of the television.

“Long periods of TV watching should be interspersed with movement to keep the circulation going.

“Generally speaking, if you sit a lot in your daily life – for example your work involves sitting for hours at a computer – be sure to get up and move around from time to time.”

ConsumerConnect reports a research has shown in 2019, TV consumption in the United States (US) was highest among African-Americans, who watched an average of 3.23 hours of TV each day, according a reaserch.

However, Asian-Americans spent around half that amount of time watching television each day in the same year.

Kindly Share This Story

Kindly share this story