TIME Research

Step Away From the Remote: Too Much TV Increases Risk For Early Death

Watching TV for too long means sitting for too long

New research reports that adults who watch three or more hours of TV a day may double their risk of premature death.

The new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association studied 13,284 young and healthy Spanish university graduates and assessed risk of early death from three sedentary behaviors: TV watching, computer time and driving time. They didn’t find any associations with computer time and driving, but they report that the risk for death was two times higher for participants who watched three or more hours at a time, even when the study authors accounted for other factors related to early death.

The findings are still considered preliminary, though this is not the first time researchers have found seriously worrisome effects from watching too much TV (for instance, it can go along with eating too much junk).

The reality is that there’s nothing coming out of the TV that’s going to kill you, but sitting in front of the TV for hours on end means you are not basically not moving at all. We already know that sitting for prolonged periods is really bad for your health, and TV is one of the most common ways to forget about exercise.

The American Heart Association says it recommends people get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or at least 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity each week.

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