Is TV Lethal or Just a Marker for a Sedentary Life?
Written by Editor   
Monday, September 14, 2015 12:00 AM

People who spend more than 5 hours a day watching television appear to be at an increased risk of suffering fatal pulmonary embolism, researchers report.

In a study that included more than 86,000 people in Japan who were followed for about 20 years, the risk of pulmonary embolism was 6.49 times higher for people who spent 5 hours or more in front of the tube compared with people who watched TV less than 2.5 hours a day.  The greatest risk was observed in people ages 40-59. In the overall population of 40-79 years, however, the risk still was 2.36 times greater for people watching TV for 5 hours or more.

People who watched TV 2.5 to 4.9 hours a day had a 1.59-fold increase risk of experiencing a pulmonary embolism, but that increased to 2.36-fold with more that 5 hours of watching. In the 40 to 59 year old group, watching 2.5-4.9 hours in creased the risk by 3.24 fold, which increased to 6.49 fold if TV watching was more than 5 hours a day.

Leg immobility during television viewing may in part explain the finding. To prevent the occurrence of pulmonary embolism, we recommend take a break, stand up, and walk around during the television viewing. Drinking water for preventing dehydration is also important."

That kind of immobility –watching television for long hours – is dangerous."