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Negative effects of watching TV on human health
If people spend a lot of time sitting in front of the television, this increases the likelihood of inflammation-related diseases and thus the risk of premature death from the consequences of these diseases.
In their current investigation, scientists from the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute found that series marathons, or in general for a long time in front of the television, contribute to an increased risk of suffering from inflammatory diseases. The doctors released a press release on the results of their study.
Already two hours a day in front of the television increases the risk
If you spend a long time sitting in front of your television, you endanger your health. This does not only apply to people who watch more than four hours of their favorite series in a row. A shorter time in front of the television is sufficient for an increased risk. The experts found in their investigation that even a moderate daily time in front of the TV of two to four hours leads to a higher risk of death associated with inflammatory diseases.
Researchers analyze data from almost 9,000 subjects
For their study, the doctors analyzed the lifestyles, the hours spent in front of the television each day, inflammatory markers and the causes of death for almost 9,000 adults. These participants were medically monitored for a period of 13 years after participating in the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study. When scientists ruled out cancer-related and cardiovascular-related deaths, they found that every additional hour watching TV increased the risk of premature death from inflammation. Non-smokers had a slightly lower risk, the doctors add.
Sitting reduces muscle activity and blood flow
So far, there has been no evidence of the harmful mechanisms caused by sitting in front of the television. But a growing body of evidence indicated that the effect was associated with inflammation, author Dr. Megan Grace from the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute. "We know that sitting involves reduced muscle activity and therefore reduces blood flow," say the experts. They suspect that this stagnation in the blood vessels can lead to an accumulation of inflammatory markers in the blood and muscles, Dr. Grace.
If inflammation is not treated, tissue damage can result
Inflammation is a normal reaction of the body when it experiences an injury or infection. If such inflammation is not treated and eliminated, this minor but long-term disease can actually cause tissue damage, which in turn can lead to various diseases such as diabetes, lung diseases and cognitive disorders (Alzheimer's and Parkinson's), the scientists report.
On-demand TV is likely to increase the risk of many more people
Hopefully the results will help develop new guidelines and advice on reducing sitting time, explains the author Dr. Grace continues. The data used was already collected in 2000 before the so-called on-demand TV technologies existed. Such programs are likely to have a much worse impact on the identified risk, the expert added.
Active people shouldn't sit too much either
There is increasing evidence that people who abide by the activity guidelines also endanger their health if they sit the rest of the day. these people are more likely to develop such inflammatory diseases, the doctors say. If people sit too much every day, they harm their health. Sitting a little is okay, but people should move as much as possible, the scientists advise. (as)