Watching too much television can not only make you obese and accelerate cardio-vascular problems but can also up the risk of preterm deaths, a new study has found.
According to the scientists, adults who watch television three hours or more a day may double their risk of premature deaths than those who watch less.
The researchers at the American Heart Association studied 13,284 young and healthy graduates of Spanish university and analysed the association between three types of sedentary behaviour and risk of death from all causes. The habits included: television viewing time, computer accessing and driving time.
The participants were followed for a period of 8.2 years.
Following the study, the researchers found that the risk of death was two-fold higher for the graduates who reported watching three or more hours of television a day compared to their counterparts watching one or less hours.
However, no significant association was found between the time spent on computer or driving and higher risk of premature death from all causes. The researchers have also expressed need for further detailed studies in order to confirm the effects that may exist between computer use and driving on death rates.
“Television viewing is a major sedentary behaviour and there is an increasing trend toward all types of sedentary behaviours,” said Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez, the study’s lead author and professor and chair of the Department of Public Health at the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain.
“Our findings are consistent with a range of previous studies where time spent watching television was linked to mortality,” Martinez-Gonzalez added.
The research was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.