Moderate computer use or TV time linked to early death

The bi-monthly reports on seemingly benign activities and dying early are in, and this time it’s not “sitting” that kills, and men are included in the at-risk group.

Blogger? Computer programmer? Administrative assistant? Hopefully getting old isn’t on your to do list, because if you spend more than four hours a day in front of a screen of any description (computer, television), then it seems you’re at an increased risk of early death, regardless of whether you exercise regularly. A study conducted by “international researchers” of 4,500 Scots found some mildly alarming stats:

…anyone who devotes more than four hours daily on screen-based entertainment such as TV, video games or surfing the web, ups their risk of heart attack and stroke by 113 percent and the risk of death by any cause by nearly 50 percent compared to those who spend less than two hours daily in screen play — and this is regardless of whether or not they also work out.

The risks associated with excessive sitting comprise a lengthy list, including impact on metabolic functions that predispose those affected to cardiovascular risk and conditions like Type 2 Diabetes. So what can you do to mitigate the risk? Sadly, researchers haven’t advised any proactive measures to protect against the circumstances, and the prognosis for future findings isn’t even that great. Emmanuel Stamatakis of the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College in London comments:

“I would speculate that the list of sitting-specific health harms will be getting longer and longer in the years to come; this area of research is in its infancy,” Stamatakis says.

How many hours a day do you spend parked in front of a screen? Do these studies concern you?