TV, Videogames Hurt the Heart

Paul Lilly

Our parents told us if we sat too close to the television, we'd go blind. Some researchers say cell phone radiation could cause brain damage or cancer. Videogames apparently turn us into blood thirst miscreants hellbent on hurting people, or so we've heard. Here's another one to add to the list: heart disease.

According to a report in the U.K.'s Telegraph, spending more than four hours a day watching TV, surfing the Web, or playing videogames doubles the risk of heart disease and premature death, and even just two hours a day could be asking for trouble.

"People who spend excessive amounts of time in front of a screen - primarily watching TV - are more likely to die of any cause and suffer heart-related problems. Our analysis suggests that two ore more hours of screen time each day may place someone at greater risk for a cardiac event," said Dr. Emmanuel Stamatakis of University College London's Department of Epidemiology and Public Health.

It's the first study to examine screen time in relation to fatal and non-fatal heart attacks. According to the study, there's an increased risk regardless of other factors, such as smoking, hypertension, BMI, social class, and exercise.

"According to what we know so far, these health risks may not be mitigated by exercise, a finding that underscores the urgent need for public health recommendations to include guidelines for limiting recreational sitting and other sedentary behaviors, in addition to improving physical activity.," Dr. Stamatakis added.

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