The research finds a strong link between television watching
for 3 hours or more and potentially deadly diseases, such as heart disease,
high blood pressure, obesity and cancer due to sedentary lifestyle associated
with television watching.
The study was based on television viewing patterns of 13,000 Spanish people,
their average age being 37 and of whom 60% were women.
The research lead, Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez, said "Our findings are
consistent with a range of previous studies where time spent watching
television was linked to mortality,"
The study spanned a period of 8.2 years during which period
97 deaths from heart disease, cancer and others were recorded.
The findings revealed the risk of premature death due to television watching
for three hours or more was double the risk of death due to television watching
for one hour or less in participants.
Even after eliminating deaths due to poor health condition,
eating of processed foods during television watching, factors such as age,
gender, smoking history and others, a stronger link could be established
between television watching and premature death.
However, the study did not identify any association between computer usage/driving
and premature death.
Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez added that as people age, sedentary
behaviors would become more prevalent, especially television watching, and this
posed an additional burden on increased health problems related to ageing.
He suggested increasing physical activities, avoiding long
sedentary periods and reducing television watching time to less than 1 or 2
hours daily could combat the risks of early death.
The study was published in the Journal of the American Heart