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A new study said that if we spend more than two hours a day sitting in front of screen-based entertainment (TV, computer, etc.), no amount of exercise can reverse the negative effects those experiences have on our bodies.
Uh-oh. If that’s the case, I’m afraid we’re all in trouble.
The Journal of the American College of Cardiology recently published a survey of 4,512 adults who were respondents of a representative, household-based survey.
Data showed that spending elongated periods in front of a TV or computer screen not only dramatically increases the risk for heart disease but can also affect our risk of death for any cause.
Let me repeat: sitting in front of the TV or computer for more than two hours a day can increase our risk of death. Period.
The researchers, who were the first to examine the link between screen-time and non-fatal as well as fatal cardiovascular events, also suggested that these health risks may not be mitigated by exercise.
Let me repeat: No amount of exercise can help lessen or reverse the effects of our prolonged screen-time, even if we hit the gym five days a week.
Doctors provided a combination of reasons as to how and why this occurs. According to ScienceDaily, “One fourth of the association between screen time and cardiovascular events was explained collectively by C-reactive protein (CRP), body mass index, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, suggesting that inflammation and deregulation of lipids may be one pathway through which prolonged sitting increases the risk for cardiovascular events. CRP, a well-established marker of low-grade inflammation, was approximately two times higher in people spending more than four hours of screen time per day compared to those spending less than two hours a day.”
If we sit more than two hours a day in front of a screen, our bodies produce a larger amount of CRP. Once the CRP is produced, the toll it takes on the body is not easily reversed.
Emmanuel Stamatakis, PhD, MSc, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, United Kingdom was one research member of the team who conducted this study.