Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 11th 2014 Contents Not all sitting is the same, according to a new
study from Spain that found adults who watch
three or more hours of TV per day may double
their risk of early death compared to those who
Similar amounts of time spent sitting while driving
or using a computer did not have the same asso-
ciations, according to the researchers, who focused
on people with an average age of 37 to eliminate old
age as a factor.
"We did this study because there were some pre-
vious reports of a higher mortality among subjects
with a higher TV viewing time, but they had been
done in elderly people in other countries," Dr Miguel
Martinez-Gonzalez told Reuters Health in an e-mail.
"We were interested in knowing whether or not
this association also was present in younger subjects,"
said Martinez-Gonzalez, a researcher with the
Department of Public Health at the University of
Navarra in Pamplona, who is the study s senior
His team s results are in line with past studies
that found a 13 per cent higher risk of death for each
additional two hours per day of television-watching
time, and a sharper risk increase when daily TV time
went above three hours, he said.
And no study has ever reported lower mortality
among those with higher TV viewing time, he noted.
The researchers analysed data gathered from 13,284
adults who had graduated from the university begin-
ning in 1999. They wanted to examine any associ-
ations between three types of sedentary behaviour
and risk of death from any cause.
The study team followed the participants for an
average of eight years and found 97 deaths, 19 of
them from cardiovascular causes, 46 from cancer
and 32 from other causes.
Compared to the people who sat watching an hour
or less of television a day, those who watched two
hours a day had a 40 per cent higher risk of death.
For those who watched three or more hours, the risk
was two-fold higher.
For drivers, two hours a day came with a 14 per
cent higher risk of death compared to one hour or
less. And two hours of computer use daily was linked
to a four per cent lower risk than one hour or less.
Spending three or more hours at either task was not
linked to any further risk changes.
These results took into account other lifestyle fac-
tors like diet, age, weight, smoking and other physical
activity, the researchers note in the Journal of the
American Heart Association.
The study doesn t prove that watching TV directly
leads to premature death, it only shows a correlation,
Martinez-Gonzalez and his colleagues point out,
adding that more research is necessary to learn more
about the possible mechanisms behind the links.
It s also possible that other factors, such as illness,
could explain both the higher mortality and greater
amounts of sedentary time watching TV, for example.
However, Martinez-Gonzalez said that inactivity
and a sedentary lifestyle increase resistance to insulin,
reduce lean body mass and increase fat mass.
"These mechanisms are related to a higher risk
of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers,
such as colon, rectum, and breast."
Martinez-Gonzalez added that links between a
sedentary lifestyle and a greater risk of depression
and suicidal ideation may also be involved.
"What we realise is that the study stresses the
importance of decreasing our sedentary time and
then also increasing our moderate intensity physical
activity as recommended by the American Heart
body & soul
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, July 11, 2014
Too much TV tied
to premature death
Compared to the people who sat watching an hour or less of television a day,
those who watched two hours a day had a 40 per cent higher risk of death.
Association guidelines," Dr Heather Johnson told
"There have been multiple very large studies
demonstrating an association with higher levels of
physical activity and lower rates of mortality and
lower rates of cardiovascular disease," said Johnson,
a cardiologist at the University of Wisconsin School
of Medicine and Public Health. She was not involved
in the study. (Reuters Health)
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