Reading this article may be shortening your life.
A new study suggests that spending four or more hours per day in front of a screen is not only bad for your health, but may be life-threatening.
According to the report in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) the risk of heart attack and stroke for those that spend over the allotted four hours in front of a screen (TV or computer monitor) increased by 113 percent and the risk of death by any cause increased by almost 50 percent. Those numbers are as compared to people who spend less than two hours in front of a screen.
The findings come from a survey of 4,500 Scottish adults, who were analyzed based on their medical records after being asked how much TV they watch, according to ABC News.
But it seems the problem may actually come from sitting, not simply looking at a screen.
From ABC News:
"Assuming that leisure-time screen time is a representative indicator of overall sitting, our results lend support to the idea that prolonged sitting is linked to an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and premature mortality," notes the report's lead author, Emmanuel Stamatakis of the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College in London. "Doing some exercise every day may not compensate for the damage done during very long periods of screen time."
In any case, the study shows that despite regular exercise and a decent diet, many people still remain at risk for catastrophic health problems, due to prolonged periods of inactivity. The inactivity caused by sitting burns so few calories, that simply standing and moving around can double your metabolic rate.
For a more in-depth look at the study, watch the video from ABC News below.