It has long been established by experts that watching television (TV) for several hours is harmful to health. Now, a new research shows that the risk of blood clots increases with the amount of time spent watching TV. According to preliminary research presented last Sunday at the 2017 Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association (AHA) in California, United States (US), when researchers compared people who reported watching TV more often to those who seldom or never watched TV, the risk of a venous thromboembolism (VTE) jumped by 70 per cent.
A VTE is a type of blood clot that can block blood flow in a vein, according to the AHA. A blood clot is a clump of blood that has changed from a liquid to a gel-like or semisolid state. Clotting is a necessary process that can prevent people from losing too much blood in certain instances, such as when one is injured or cut. When a clot however forms inside a human vein, it always won’t dissolve on its own. This can be very dangerous and even a life-threatening situation.
Study co-author, Dr. Mary Cushman andprofessor of medicine at the University of Vermont’s Larner Medical College, said, “Watching TV itself isn’t likely bad but we tend to snack and sit still for prolonged periods while watching.” In previous studies, prolonged TV viewing has already been associated with heart disease involving blocked arteries.
But according to researchers, this is thefirst study in a western population to look at blood clots in veins of the legs, arms, pelvis and lungs. Among those that participated in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, were 15,158middle-aged, ranging between 45 to 64 years.
“You could put a treadmill or stationary bike in front of your TV and move while watching. Or you can delay watching TV by 30 minutes while you take a walk.
If you must see your favourite show, tape it while you are out walking so you can watch it later, skipping the ads,” said Cushman, who is also the director of the Thrombosis and Hemostasis Programme at the University of Vermont Medical Centre.Besides avoiding prolonged TV watching, the researchers also advised that people can lower their risk of venous thromboembolism by maintaining a healthy weight and staying physically active. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control andPrevention (CDC), as many as 900,000 people could be affected (one to two per 1,000) by this condition each year in the United States (US). AHA’s Scientific Sessions, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians, attracts nearly 18,000 attendees