Too Much TV Is Bad News for Your Lungs?

blood clot in a vein

You’ve probably heard that too much time spent watching television can contribute to obesity, and that too much time spent anywhere without moving (for example, on a plane) can elevate the risk of a blot clot – but what about too much television time leading to a potentially fatal blot clot in the lungs? That’s the suggestion emerging from a recent study that tracked 85,000 adults (ages 40-79) for 19 years to determine how overall daily television time influenced the development of a pulmonary embolism.

According to study findings, adults who reported watching five or more hours of TV a day were 2.5 times more likely to die of a clot compared to adults who reporting watching two-and-a-half hours or less of television daily. The study authors suggest several ways to reduce the risk of a blood clot, one of which sounds distinctly healthier than the other: Get up from the couch periodically to stretch your legs / body; or reduce the amount of time you spend watching TV, which presumably will give you more time to spend in more active, blood-clot-inhibiting pursuits. We’ll go with the latter and encourage you to watch less TV and use the time for health-promoting physical activity. Talk to your doctor for more information about the danger of pulmonary embolism and other ways to reduce your risk.

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