Watching TV increases heart risk by 80%

January 13th, 2010 - 1:18 am ICT by Aishwarya Bhatt  

New York, Jan 12 (THAINDIAN NEWS) Watching TV is dangerous for your heart. Because a study published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation suggests that watching TV can increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke by a staggering 80 percent. And the same holds true for sitting in front of the computer as well. This survey was done on 7000 Australian people and it measured the amount of time they spent watching TV and its effects, over a period of 6 years.

The findings revealed that every hour spent being a couch potato and watching TV or working on the computer increased the risk of cardiovascular ailments by 18 percent. These finding and figures do not take into factor the other elements that also increase the risk of heart disease like obesity and smoking.

The Australian study offers a different take. “It’s not the sweaty type of exercise we’re losing,” says David Dunstan, a researcher at Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, who led the study. “It’s the incidental moving around, walking around, standing up and utilizing muscles that [doesn't happen] when we’re plunked on a couch in front of a television.” Indeed, participants in the study reported getting between 30 and 45 minutes of exercise a day, on average.

“If you’re not up on your feet moving around, you’re sedentary,” says Marc Hamilton, a scientist at Pennnington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, La., who studies the biology of inactivity and who wasn’t involved with the Australian study.

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