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Prolonged TV viewing may increase the risk of venous thrombo-embolism (VTE). 

New evidence based on an analysis of available observational studies may support an association between prolonged TV viewing and increased risk of VTE, which is independent of physical activity.

Three studies were reviewed (2 from the USA and 1 from Japan) with the average age ranging from 54-65 years and the follow-up period was between 5.1 to 19.8 years.

Sitting and watching television for a lengthy duration (around 3-4+ hours), which involves immobilisation is a strong risk factor for VTE. Restricting movement for any extended period of time may increase the risk of VTE development as it might promote 'venous stasis' which means the blood flow from the legs back to the heart is inhibited.

The review recommends having frequent breaks during prolonged sedentary activities such as TV viewing, as this may be essential for VTE prevention.

In concurrence with this review, research from 2018 also found that achieving a recommended physical activity level did not eliminate the increased VTE risk associated with frequent TV viewing (Kubota, Y. et al., (2018) TV viewing and incident venous thromboembolism. Journal of thrombosis and thrombolysis).

(VTE is a term used for DVT and PE)

Article published January 20, 2022. View the full article HERE