Disadvantages of watching television for a long time have been told to us time and again. A new study done by University of Bristol, England has concluded far more alarming results. The researchers have reached the conclusion that watching television continuously for 4 hours or more increases the risk of blood clot in veins by 35 percent. The risk is lesser among those people who are watching television for less than 2.5 hours at a stretch.
The findings of the study have been published in European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, the official journal of the European Association of Preventive Cardiology. Lead author of the study Dr Setor Kunutsor said that breaks should be taken while watching television. Dr Setor suggested that one should stand and stretch themselves for every 30 minutes and he also advised against consuming snacks while watching television.
For conducting this study, 1,31,421 participants aged 40 years and older without pre-existing venous thromboembolism were observed. The study was aimed at examining the association between TV viewing and venous thromboembolism. Venous thromboembolism includes Pulmonary Embolism and deep vein thrombosis. Pulmonary Embolism is characterised by blood clot in lungs while deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot in deep vein. This type of clot usually occurs in legs and can travel to lungs causing pulmonary embolism.
The research included three studies. The average duration of follow up in three range studies ranged from 5.1 to 19.8 years. The results achieved were alarming. In this time period, 964 patients have developed venous thromboembolism. Researchers also found that long time television viewers were more likely to develop the problem of venous thromboembolism. The risk was 1.35 times more for the binge watchers than for non-watchers.
People who think that physical activity can compensate for prolonged television watching should also become careful. Researchers have obtained these results regardless of an individual’s BMI, physical activity, age and gender.
However Dr Setor noted that these findings are based on observational studies. According to the doctor, this does not prove that extended TV watching always causes blood clots.