Fan of Binge-Watching? Here's What It's Doing to Your Health
There goes the Netflix marathon...
Researchers from Japan's Osaka University have published a disturbing study, which found that watching more than five hours of TV a day can make you six times more likely to suffer a fatal blood clot.
The study, which was presented to the European Society of Cardiology, found that both men and women between the ages of 40 and 79 who watched more than five hours of TV a day were twice as likely to suffer a possibly fatal pulmonary embolism from blood clots than someone who watches less than 2.5 hours of TV a day.
In case you think that means the younger generation are less at risk - we're not. In fact, the frightening numbers show those under sixty are six times more likely to duffer.
A fatal pulmonary embolism is a condition usually associated with long haul flights, so long periods spent with legs immobile could partially explain the findings.
The 18 year study tracked more than 86,000 people.
"The association between prolonged sitting and pulmonary embolism was first reported among air raid shelter users in London during World War II," said lead researcher Mr Toru Shirakawa, public health research fellow in the Department of Social Medicine at Osaka University in Japan.
"Nowadays, a long haul flight in an economy class seat is a well known cause of pulmonary embolism that is called 'economy class syndrome'."
He continued: "Pulmonary embolism is a serious, sometimes fatal, lung-related vascular disease characterised by sudden onset of symptoms such as chest pain or difficulty breathing. The disease is caused by obstruction of the pulmonary arteries by blood clots, generally formed in the leg vessels. Risk factors include cancer, prolonged bed rest or sitting, and oral contraceptive use."
"We showed that prolonged television viewing may be a risky behaviour for death from pulmonary embolism," said Mr Shirakawa.
"Leg immobility during television viewing may in part explain the finding. To prevent the occurrence of pulmonary embolism, we recommend the same preventive behaviour used against economy class syndrome. That is, take a break, stand up, and walk around during the television viewing. Drinking water for preventing dehydration is also important."
"In this era of information technology, use of other visual based media devices such as personal computers or smartphones is popular. Prolonged computer gaming has been associated with death from pulmonary embolism but to our knowledge a relationship with prolonged smartphone use has not yet been reported."
He concluded: "Public awareness of the risk of pulmonary embolism from lengthy leg immobility is essential. More research is needed to assess the risks of prolonged use of new technologies on pulmonary embolism morbidity and mortality."
Hat Tip: Via EurekAlert