Binge watching TV can cause blood clots
Binge watching TV has always been a guilty pleasure, but since the invention if box sets and streaming networks it has never been easier to lose hours on end in front of the box.
However, new research from Japanese scientists may make you re-evaluate how you consume the next series of Orange is the New Black or House of Cards, as they have found that spending hours watching TV raises the risk of dying from a blood clot in the lungs.
After following 86,024 people aged between 40 and 79 from 1988 to 1990 to understand their TV habits, the team from Osaka University found that those who watched five or more hours of television in a day were more than twice as likely to die from the deadly clot.
The study, which included a 19 year follow up period, also found that watching between 2.5 hours and 4.9 hours of TV daily had a 70 per cent increased risk. During the whole research period 59 participants died from a pulmonary embolism; which is blockage in the pulmonary artery, the blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the lungs. While blood clots can occur for no reason, the more likely cause is long periods of inactivity. Further, the team said the figure is likely to be higher as the condition can be easily missed.
“Nowadays, with online video streaming, the term ‘binge-watching’ to describe viewing multiple episodes of television programmes in one sitting has become popular,” explained lead author Dr Toru Shirakawa. “This popularity may reflect a rapidly growing habit.”
There are ways to diminish the risk though, with Osaka University’s Professor Hiroyasu Iso explaining getting up after an hour or so to stretch and walk around is greatly beneficial.
He adds: “While you’re watching TV, tense and relax your leg muscles for five minutes.”