HomeHealthTV watching can increase your risk of blood clots

TV watching can increase your risk of blood clots

We know sitting for long periods is not the healthiest of pastimes. Now, research shows that watching television for hours on end has been linked to a higher risk of developing dangerous blood clots – though it’s not all bad news for those who love to binge on the couch.

Settling in to watch a new episode of your favourite show is undoubtedly one of life’s great pleasures. But in a paper published in the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology, researchers demonstrate a link between sitting for long periods watching TV and a 35 per cent increased risk of developing venous thromboembolism (VTE).

VTE is a varied cardiovascular condition that can present as either deep vein thrombosis (DVT) – where a blood clot forms in a vein deep within the legs or pelvis – or pulmonary embolism (PE), where a blood clot breaks free and travels through the veins to block blood vessels in the lungs.

The study was a meta-analysis of three previously conducted studies into the link between inactivity and cardiovascular problems. Altogether, these studies included 131,421 participants who were aged 54 to 65 at the start of the study.

Average follow-up times ranged from 5.1 to 19.8 years. Across the studies, there were 964 recorded VTE events. All the studies assessed TV viewing times via self-reported questionnaires.

The researchers found that watching TV for more than four hours a day resulted in a 35 per cent higher risk of developing VTE than for those watching less than 2.5 hours per day.

Too much sitting, and not enough moving, has long been linked to many health problems, including many cardiovascular disorders including heart disease and stroke.

But it’s not all bad news, as the researchers did find something of a loophole for those who don’t want to give up their soaps.

“General findings highlight the need for everybody to be physically active,” says Dr Setor Kunutsor, lead author of the study.

Binge TV

“If you want to binge on TV viewing, take breaks in between. Stand and stretch every 30 minutes.”

While sitting watching TV for hours is obviously an unhealthy choice, sometimes being sedentary for long periods is unavoidable, such as at work. Those working in an office environment need to be particularly conscious of their inactivity, says Dr Kunutsor.

“For people whose jobs involve sitting for long hours, take regular breaks in between; they will need to also increase their physical activity levels, as there is evidence showing that higher volumes of moderate and vigorous activity can reduce, or even eliminate, the risks associated with sedentary behaviour,” he says.

On top of simply remembering to stand and stretch every half hour, it is still important to get regular exercise outside.

Heart health

The Heart Foundation says regular physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your heart health.

Increasing your physical activity to the Australian government’s recommended 30 to 45 minutes a day, five or more days of the week, can help reduce your risk of heart disease and heart attacks.

It can also prevent and manage many conditions and diseases, including some cancers, type 2 diabetes and depression.

How many hours of TV do you watch each day? How often do you get up to stretch? Let us know in the comments section below.

Also read: Warning signs of a blood clot

Brad Lockyer
Brad Lockyerhttps://www.yourlifechoices.com.au/author/bradlockyer/
Brad has deep knowledge of retirement income, including Age Pension and other government entitlements, as well as health, money and lifestyle issues facing older Australians. Keen interests in current affairs, politics, sport and entertainment. Digital media professional with more than 10 years experience in the industry.


    • Why do we need the Government to tell us? Isn’t health a matter for our GP who can make an assessment of each individual’s risk? And where is personal responsibility? Do you expect the Government to send round inspectors to check you are standing up every 30 m inutes? No it is not a Government responsibility – the responsibility is ours!

      • Please explain why the Government advertises via TV ads etc about various cancer check ups/tests and other medical issues but not blood clots (this is all I said) which can and does happen to fit/healthy people ie airline flights/post operations to name a couple. I agree it is our responsibility to look after our health.
        You win the laugh of the year “Do you expect the Government to send round inspectors to check you are standing up every 30 minutes”

- Our Partners -


- Advertisment -


- Advertisment -

Log In

Forgot password?

Don't have an account? Register

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.