MONDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Too much time spent watching TV or sitting in front of a computer may increase your risk for heart disease and even shorten your life, a new British study found.
In fact, if you spend four hours a day or more of your leisure time watching TV, using the computer or playing video games, you are more than two times more likely to suffer a heart attack, stroke, heart failure or die, according to the study.
"Our research suggests that screen time and perhaps sitting in general can be very detrimental for overall and cardiovascular health," said lead researcher Emmanuel Stamatakis, a senior research associate in the department of epidemiology and public health at University College London.
"Given that the large majority of people of working age have sedentary jobs and spend long periods of time commuting or driving, which involve even more sitting, leisure time should involve as little sitting and as much movement as possible," he said.
The report is published in the Jan. 18 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
For the study, Stamatakis's team collected data on 4,512 adults who responded to the 2003 Scottish Health Survey, which among other things asked about leisure time activities.
During 4.3 years of follow-up, 325 of these people died and 215 had a cardiovascular event, the researchers reported.
Stamatakis' group found that compared with those who spent less than two hours a day in front of a screen, those who spent four or more hours watching TV or playing or working on the computer had a 48 percent increased risk for dying from any cause and a 125 percent increased risk for having a heart attack, stroke or heart failure.
Moreover, the risk calculations remained even after taking into account such factors as smoking, high blood pressure, weight, social class and exercise, the resea
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