Take a break from sitting
Even if you exercise, sitting around too much can be dangerous. Spending too much time in front of the television could increase your chance of developing potentially fatal blood clots.
Even trying to counterbalance hours of TV watching through adequate exercise is not effective, warns a new study on the subject.
Prolonged sitting can, in some cases, lead to blood clots because the normal circulation of blood through the legs and feet is impaired. This study focuses on the risk of developing a common and potentially fatal blood clot in the vein called venous thromboembolism (VTE). One type of VTE is known as deep vein thrombosis, where the blood clots form in the deep veins of the legs.
Another serious problem is when a VTE becomes dislodged and travels through the blood stream to block off another vein somewhere else in the body. If a VTE end up in the lungs, they cause blood clots in the lungs known as pulmonary embolism.
Researchers analyzed data from 15,158 Americans aged between 45 and 64 starting in 1987. The findings show that participants who watched television very often had more than 1.7 times the risk of suffering from a VTE compared to those who never or seldom watched TV. This risk still remained high even when factors such a person's weight or levels of exercise were taken into account.
These results suggest that even individuals who regularly engage in physical activity should not ignore the potential harms of prolonged sedentary behaviors such as TV viewing. Avoiding frequent TV viewing, increasing physical activity and controlling body weight might be beneficial to prevent VTE.