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HomeHealth & FitnessBe cautious, prolonged TV viewing causes blood clots: study

Be cautious, prolonged TV viewing causes blood clots: study

Compiled by Dr Pramod N. Sulikeri, PhD.


The findings of the meta-analysis scientific study recently published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, which aims to reduce the global burden of cardio-vascular disease, has cautioned the population that watching 4 hours of TV a day is associated with a 35% higher risk of developing blood clots.

Lead author Dr. Setor Kunutsor of the University of Bristol, UK advises, “If you are going to binge on TV, you need to take breaks.” You can stand and stretch every 30 minutes or use a stationary bike. He further warned that watching entertainment channels and filling your belly with snacks is even more harmful.

The study observed an association between TV viewing and venous thromboembolism (VTE). VTE includes pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs) and deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in a deep vein, usually in the legs, which can travel to the lungs and cause pulmonary embolism).

Dr. Kunutsor “The findings indicate that watching many hours of television is a risky activity with regards to developing blood clots.”

Study Size:

A total of 131,421 participants aged 40 years and older without pre-existing VTE. The amount of time spent watching TV was assessed by a questionnaire and participants were categorised as prolonged viewers (watching TV at least four hours per day) and never/seldom viewers (watching TV less than 2.5 hours per day).

Dr. Kunutsor noted that the findings are based on observational studies and do not prove that extended TV watching causes blood clots.

Sitting glued in front of the TV for long hours without any leg movement is a risk factor for VTE (Venous Thrombo-Embolism, blood clots in the veins). This is why people are encouraged to move around after surgery or during long-haul travel. The researcher, advises prolonged TV watchers to make deliberate efforts to get up, stretch, and do light exercises. Finally, binge-watchers tend to eat unhealthy snacks, which may lead to obesity and high blood pressure, which both raise the likelihood of blood clots. “


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