Study: TV Could Double Your Risk of Early Death

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 06/26/2014 | 02:15 PM EDT

Adults who watch TV three hours or more a day may double their risk of premature death from any cause

If your health mean anything, you may want to put down the remote. According to a new study, too much indulging in television could lead to premature death.

Adults watching TV for three or more hours a day might double their risk of early death, according to a study in Spain that was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.


"Television viewing is a major sedentary behavior and there is an increasing trend toward all types of sedentary behaviors," said the study’s lead author Dr. Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez.

"Our findings are consistent with a range of previous studies where time spent watching television was linked to mortality."

Over eight years, researchers studied 13,284 young, healthy Spanish people whose average age was 37. They sought to find a connection between death risk and three sedentary behaviors, which include watching TV, being on the computer and driving.

The risk of death was doubled for people who reported they watched TV for three or more hours a day, compared to those who watched one or fewer hours. This was also  after accounting for other variables linked to a higher risk of death.

There was no significant link to early death found in people being on the computer or driving. The researchers said further studies need to be conducted on these inactive behaviors.

"As the population ages, sedentary behaviors will become more prevalent, especially watching television, and this poses an additional burden on the increased health problems related to aging," Martinez-Gonzalez said.


He recommended increasing one's physical activity, avoiding prolonged periods of inactivity and cutting TV use to one or two hours a day.

The American Heart Association advises at least 150 minutes of moderately intense physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week, plus muscle strengthening twice a week.

(Photo: JGI/Jamie Grill/Blend Images/Corbis)

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