But researchers have now issued a warning stating that
prolonged viewing can impact health and potentially raise the risk of
developing blood clots.
Academics at the University of Vermont
analysed the results of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study
and discovered that the risk of developing a blood clot (venous
thromboembolism) was 1.7 times higher in those who reported they watch
TV "very often" compared with those who watch TV "never or seldom".
Blood clots were also 1.8 times higher in participants who met
recommended guidelines for physical activity and reported watching TV
"Watching TV itself isn't likely bad, but we tend
to snack and sit still for prolonged periods while watching," said
study co-author Professor Mary Cushman, adding that people may want to
consider doing some other kind of activity during viewing sessions.
"Think about how you can make the best use of your time to live a fuller
and healthier life. You could put a treadmill or stationary bike in
front of your TV and move while watching. Or you can delay watching TV
by 30 minutes while you take a walk. If you must see your favourite
show, tape it while you are out walking so you can watch it later,
skipping the ads."
Although blood clots are more common in people
60 and older, it can occur at any age. Besides avoiding prolonged TV
watching, you can lower your risk of venous thromboembolism by
maintaining a healthy weight and staying physically active.
professionals should take the time to ask patients about their fitness
and sedentary time, such as prolonged sitting watching TV or at a
computer," Professor Cushman added. "If you are at heightened risk of
venous thromboembolism due to a recent operation, pregnancy or recent
delivery, cancer or a previous clot, your doctor may prescribe
blood-thinning medication or advise you to wear compression stockings."© Cover Media