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TV Watching May Shorten Your Life
Date:1/11/2010

Too much sitting raises your risk of dying from heart disease, researchers say,,

MONDAY, Jan. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Every hour spent watching TV each day may increase your risk of an early death from cardiovascular disease by as much as 18 percent, Australian researchers say.

What's on the television is not the problem; it's the time spent sitting while watching.

"This research provides another clear link between too much sitting and death from disease," said lead researcher David Dunstan, head of the Physical Activity Laboratory at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Victoria.

"The findings have serious implications for Americans and Australians when you consider that aside from sleeping, watching television is the behavior that occupies activity of four hours viewing a day," he added.

The good news is research has shown that moving the muscles frequently throughout the day is one of the most effective ways of managing weight and protecting against disease, Dunstan added.

"We tend to underestimate the value of incidental, non-sweaty activity throughout the day when we are either not sleeping or exercising -- the more you move, the greater the benefits for health," he noted.

Dunstan pointed out that while obesity can add to these problems, even normal-weight people can have increases in blood sugar and cholesterol if they sit too much.

The report was released online Jan. 11 in advance of publication in an upcoming print issue of Circulation.

For the study, Dunstan's team collected data on the lifestyles of 8,800 healthy men and women aged 25 years and older. In addition to lifestyle habits, the researchers tested participants' cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Over more than six years of follow-up, 284 people died. Among these deaths, 87 were due to cardiovascular disease and 125 from cancer.

The participants were grouped into three T
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