Watching 5 Hours of TV a Day Could Kill You

That level of viewing can increase likelihood of deadly blood clots six-fold
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2015 5:50 AM CDT
Watching 5 Hours of TV a Day Could Kill You
In this image released by Netflix, Kevin Spacey appears in a scene from "House of Cards." Binge watchers should be careful.   (David Giesbrecht/Netflix via AP)

Here's a study to make you get off the couch. Researchers from Japan's Osaka University found that watching more than five hours of TV a day can make you six times more likely to suffer a fatal blood clot, the Telegraph reports. The study, presented to the European Society of Cardiology, shows men and women between the ages of 40 and 79 who watch more than five hours of TV a day are twice as likely to suffer a possibly fatal pulmonary embolism from blood clots than someone who watches less than 2.5 hours of TV a day. But that goes up to six times more likely when looking at people younger than 60.

“Leg immobility during television viewing may in part explain the finding," says one of the researchers, whose study tracked 86,000 in Japan over 18 years. The danger is that blood clots can form in a leg vein and prevent the flow of blood to the heart. This was the first study to look at prolonged TV watching as it relates to blood clots—important in the age of binge watching, notes the Independent—but researchers say a similar connection is likely with playing video or computer games. In a press release, researchers said binge watchers should follow the same guidelines given to those on long airplane flights: stand up, walk around, and drink plenty of water. (Getting off the couch could also be good for your sperm.)

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