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Binge-Watching TV Can Increase Risk Of 'Silent Killer' By A Third

Binge-Watching TV Can Increase Risk Of 'Silent Killer' By A Third

New research suggests couch potatoes have an increased risk of developing the condition Venous thromboembolism (VTE)

We're all prone to binge-watching our favourite TV shows more often than we'd care to admit.

However, new research suggests couch potatoes have a 35 percent increased risk of developing a condition dubbed the 'silent killer'. 

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein - usually in the lower leg, thigh or pelvis - blocking blood flow. It can potentially be fatal.

Although the condition is more common in over 60s, it can happen at any age, and is fast becoming a leading cause of death and disability around the globe. 

Recently, scientists re-visited three studies conducted between 2016 and 2021 in order to better understand the impact watching TV has on your chances of getting VTE.


The studies covered more than 131,400 people across both US and Japan. 

The findings suggest those who watched TV for more than four hours per day had a 35 percent higher risk of developing VTE than those who watched TV for less than 2.5 hours per day. 

However, it is not necessarily the act of watching TV that is harmful, but rather doing it while sitting down for long periods of time. 

It’s bad news if your job requires you to be seated all day, such as office work or delivery driving, as you are also likely to be at risk too, according to the experts. 


As we have known for a long time, sitting down for prolonged periods may lead to an increased risk of blood clotting. 

Dr Setor Kunutsor, lead author of the study from Bristol Medical School, told Medical News Today: “[These results also apply] to people whose jobs involve being stationary for a long time — jobs that involve sitting for a long time.  

“This is the reason why some employers encourage employees to stand and move about more regularly. The use of standing desks is very useful for such jobs.” 

Dr Kunutsor suggested regular exercise, such as frequenting the gym, may help to balance out the hours you spend sitting down.  

The largest study of this kind found that just three minutes of moderate exercise for every hour of sedentary activity can slash the risk of early death - just over half an hour for someone who spent 11 hours per day sitting. 

A team of scientists led by Glasgow Caledonian University said in 2021 that this can offset the harms of prolonged periods of inactivity. 

However, if you are sat down for more than 11 to 12 hours a day, then half an hour of exercise is not enough. 

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: TV and Film, World News, Netflix