TV bingers a sit­ting tar­get

Herald Sun - - NEWS - BRIGID O’CON­NELL brigid.ocon­nell@news.com.au

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.

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