Heart Disease Cause - Why TV Increases Risk for Heart Disease

Did you know that one of the heart disease causes is watching too much TV? A recent study conducted in the United Kingdom confirms an increased risk of cardiovascular events for those who spend more than two hours per day in front of a television screen during their leisure hours. Leisure time was specified in the study to distinguish it from time spent at work seated in front of a screen. On the job activities are much more difficult to modify than leisure hour activities. The study adjusted for levels of exercise but not for diet or psychological factors that can influence heart health.

The study surveyed and followed over 4,500 people aged 35 and over in Scotland. It followed them for four years, tracking mortality and cardiovascular events over that time period. It broke the respondents into three groups, those that spent less than two hours a day in front of a screen, those spending between two and four hours, and those who spent more than four hours per day sitting in front of the television screen.

The study found that the risk of a cardiovascular event for the groups that spent more than two hours in front of the screen more than doubled. There was very little difference between those spending just over two hours and those spending over four hours. These findings are frightening when you combine it with the fact that the number one leisure activity is watching television.

What this study is saying is that despite other activities, sitting in front of the TV for over two hours per day, on average, can double your chance for heart and cardiovascular events. What can you do? The researchers suggest that participating in non-sitting, non-screen watching activities as an alternative to watching television, even if it isn't exercise, can decrease the risk. Simply standing is better than sitting according to the researchers.

It is a well-established fact that increased amounts of exercise contribute to overall well-being and general health. Walking is one of the best forms of exercise and is one of the easiest to start. Requiring virtually no start-up expense, simply walking around the block twice a day can improve circulation and heart health. Although you are still in front of a television, the recent whole-body video games are an improvement over the sedentary versions and may actually be a good choice for alternate leisure activities. These increase aerobic exercise, improving both circulation and lung functioning. They are a better choice for children and adults alike than games played sitting down.

Although the researchers do not understand the mechanisms at work that double the risk for a cardiovascular event, they feel that the information they have discovered should be used in public health programs to encourage people to decrease their hours in front of a television. They know that people can modify their leisure time activities and suggest that both health care providers and public information programs stress the importance of limiting the time spent in front of a television.

Monique Hawkins is an enthusiastic advocate for the use of safe and effective high quality, natural, alternative health products to treat and prevent heart disease. To learn about how to prevent and treat heart disease naturally, visit her blog for weekly tips at heart disease cause

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