Primetime TV Is Literally Heart-Stopping Entertainment

A new Australian study reports that every hour spent sitting in front your television significantly ramps up your risk of cardiovascular problems later in life.

Sigh: here's another reason why your boob tube is a doom tube. Researchers at the Australian Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute observed the television viewing habits of 8,800 adults. According to the study published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, every hour spent sitting watching television is correlated with:

* an 11 percent increased risk of death from all causes,
* a 9 percent increased risk of cancer death; and
* an 18 percent increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD)-related death.

Compared with people who watched less than two hours of television daily, those who watched more than four hours a day had a 46 percent higher risk of death from all causes and an 80 percent increased risk for CVD-related death. This association held regardless of other independent and common cardiovascular disease risk factors, including smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, unhealthy diet, excessive waist circumference, and leisure-time exercises.

While the study focused specifically on television watching, the findings suggest that any prolonged sedentary behavior, such as sitting at a desk or in front of a computer, may pose a risk to one's health. The human body was designed to move, not sit for extended periods of time, said David Dunstan, Ph.D., the study's lead author and professor and Head of the Physical Activity Laboratory in the Division of Metabolism and Obesity at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Victoria, Australia.

We all know that Heroes has been a heartbreaker lately, but it's downright depressing to know that the 60 minutes you're spending watching the dang show is literally breaking your heart. Looks like we'll be throwing our La-Z-Boys out and watching Sylar's nonsensical antics from pogo sticks from now on.

[via EurekAlert]