TV bingers a sitting target
THIS is bad news for TV bingers.
Every hour you sit watching TV makes you more likely to die from inflammation-related diseases, Melbourne researchers have found.
And it’s not just those watching more than four hourlong episodes in a row at risk.
Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute researchers found even moderate viewing of two to four hours a day was risky, with every extra hour associated with a 12 per cent higher risk of inflammation-related death.
Researchers analysed the lifestyles, hours of TV viewing, inflammatory markers, and causes of death of almost 9000 adults, who were followed up 13 years after first taking part in the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study.
After excluding cancer and cardiovascular-related deaths, they found every extra hour of TV time increased the risk of inflammation-related death.
The risk was similar, but smaller, among the nonsmokers in the study.
“We know sitting involves reduced muscle activity, and therefore reduced blood flow. We think this stagnation in the blood vessels may be leading to an accumulation of inflammatory markers in the blood and muscles,” lead author and senior researcher at Baker’s physical activity research unit Dr Megan Grace said. “Inflammation is a normal response in the body when there’s an injury or infection.
“When the inflammation isn’t cleared away, and it hangs around, we think this longterm low-level inflammation is actually causing damage to tissues that lead to diseases like diabetes, lung diseases, and cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.”
Dr Grace said she hoped the findings, published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, would help drive new guidelines on sitting time and physical activity.
“This data was collected in 2000, before many of these ondemand TV technologies existed. We think the problem is probably even worse now than what we recognised,” she said.