New research suggests that too much TV time might shorten your life. But not necessarily for the reason you might think.
The study of more than 13,000 seemingly healthy adults in Spain found that those who spent more than three hours a day watching television had double the risk of early death compared to those who watched less than an hour a day.
“It is a little bit surprising,” said study author Dr. Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez, a professor of preventive medicine at the University of Navarra, in Pamplona, Spain.
Gonzalez said the study participants were highly educated, and slim and active. Their average age was 37. Anyone who said they had diabetes, heart disease or cancer was excluded at the start of the study.
Over the roughly eight years they were followed, there were 97 deaths — 19 from heart disease, 46 from cancer, and 32 due to other causes such as accidents and liver or kidney disease.
Researchers then compared the risk of death with time spent in sedentary activities, such as watching TV, working at a computer and driving.
The odd part? No link was found between early death and driving or working at a computer, according to the study, published online June 25 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.