Lots Of TV, Computer Time May Increase Risk Heart Problems

A new British study has found a link between <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/diseases">heart problems and television and computer time. According to Newsday, spending just four or more leisure hours daily playing video games, working on a computer, or watching television can increase cardiac disease and decrease life expectancy.

“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, quoted Newsday.

“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,” Stamatakis added, wrote Newsday. The report appears in the January 18th issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The research team analyzed data on 4,512 adults who answered the 2003 Scottish Health Survey, said Newsday, explaining that in a 4.3-year follow-up, 325 respondents had died and 215 underwent a cardiovascular event. Those who spent four or more hours daily viewing television and video games were 48 percent likelier to die and 125 percent likelier to suffer some sort of cardiovascular event, versus those who limited such viewing to under two hours daily, said NHS Choices. The study indicated that results were “independent” of physical activity, smoking habits, or social class added NHS Choices.

Of note, said Stamatakis, quoted Newsday, “Importantly, participation in exercise did not seem to mitigate against the harms associated with excessive screen times.” The research found that biology was also involved, noting a 25 percent link between so-called “screen time” and heart attacks was also linked to C-reactive protein levels, wrote Newsday. C-reactive protein is—in conjunction with weight and cholesterol—an indicator of inflammation, which points to inflammation, increased cholesterol, and sitting as risks for cardiovascular events, according to the team, said Newsday.

Most people spend at least three hours a day watching TV, which Stamatakis said, “… is excessive…. And besides, TV watching [is] a waste of time in the most passive and uncreative way, in most cases. It also displaces hugely beneficial physical activity and, according to our findings, is also linked to unique and distinct risks for health,” quoted Newsday.

“We are all so fixated during the workday on the computer, and sitting has become such a regular part of our lives, that if we choose to sit for leisure, it’s really harmful for us,” said, Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a preventive cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City and a spokeswoman for the American Heart Association, commenting on the study, reported Newsday. ” … what I like about this study is it helps us understand the significant role that a sedentary lifestyle has on the risk of heart disease,” she added.

The cohort study’s goal was to determine if TV viewing and other so-called screen-based activities were linked to cardiovascular disease and shortened life spans, wrote NHS Choices.

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