Heart Disease: Excessive TV Linked to Elevated Risk of Heart Disease, Death

January 10, 2011 Updated: January 12, 2011

[xtypo_dropcap]T[/xtypo_dropcap]hose who spend more than a few hours a day in front of a TV or other screens have double the risk of heart disease and death than those who don’t, a recent study has found.

The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, warns that idling in front of screens such as televisions could impact health in a significant manner.

"It is all a matter of habit. Many of us have learned to go back home, turn the TV set on and sit down for several hours—it's convenient and easy to do," the study’s lead author, Emmanuel Stamatakis of the University College London, told AFP. "But doing so is bad for the heart and our health in general.”

The paper surveyed more than 4,500 adults and compared their self-reported TV or computer usage with the instances of cardiovascular events or death.

According to AFP, those that spent more than four hours in front of a screen had about a 50 percent higher chance of dying than those who spent less than two hours in front of a TV or computer.

Additionally, two hours of screen time a day was found to increase the risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attacks by 125 percent.

"Our research suggests that screen time and perhaps sitting in general can be very detrimental for overall and cardiovascular health," Stamatakis said, according to HealthDay.