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Study: TV Can Kill You

January 12, 2010

According to a recent Australian study, sitting in front of the television all day can actually be more hazardous to your health than you thought.

People who spend more than four hours watching television are at a much higher risk of dying at an early age than those who limit their viewing time.

The research, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, says that prolonged periods of television viewing is bad for your heart. “People who watch more than four hours per day have a 46 percent higher risk of death from all causes,” researcher David Dunstan, of the Melbourne-based Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, told AFP.

Dunstan said that people who sit down for long periods at a time have an 80 percent increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease. The body stops using its muscles properly and cannot process sugars and fats correctly when one is sitting for a long time.

The results of research come from a six-year study of 8,800 Australians and their television viewing habits. The study, based on health risks of television viewing, took into consideration influences of other health factors including age, sex, smoking, weight and exercise. Dunstan said most Australians watch an average of three hours of television per day.

The study also found that even people who exercise on a regular basis were potentially hurting their bodies by sitting down for prolonged periods. “What these findings suggest is that in addition to regular exercise, people need to consider avoiding prolonged periods of sitting; whether it’s in front of the television, working long hours or driving for prolonged periods,” Dunstan said.

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