New research suggests that too much TV time might shorten your life. But not necessarily for the reason you might think.
The study of more than 13,000 seemingly healthy adults, which was published online in the Journal of the American Heart Association, found that those who spent more than three hours a day watching television had double the risk of early death compared to those who watched less than an hour a day.
“It is a little bit surprising,” said study author Dr. Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez, a professor of preventive medicine at the University of Navarra, in Pamplona, Spain.
Gonzalez said the study participants were highly educated, slim, active, and their average age was under 40. In addition, anyone with a pre-existing condition, such as diabetes or heart disease, was excluded at the beginning of the study. Over the course of eight years, there were 97 deaths — 19 from heart disease, 46 from cancer, and 32 due to other causes such as accidents and liver or kidney disease.
In fact, for every two additional hours a person spent watching TV, the risk of death from heart disease increased by 44 percent, cancer death risk increased by 21 percent and the risk of premature death increased by 55 percent.