Binge-watching Can Lead to Blood Clots
Researchers advise taking breaks while binge-watching TV to prevent blood clots as a study reveals that watching television for 4 hours a day or more is linked to a 35% greater risk of blood clots in comparison to less than watching 2.5 hours. The study results also indicated that being physically active doesn’t eliminate the elevated risk of blood clots linked to prolonged TV watching. It’s essential to take breaks when binging on TV by standing and stretching every half hour or making use of a stationary bike as well as eliminating the unhealthy snacks while watching television.1
The study investigated the connection between watching TV and venous thromboembolism, which includes blood clots in the lungs known as pulmonary embolism, and deep vein blood clots known as deep vein thrombosis, which could travel to the lungs resulting in pulmonary embolism.
The analysis involved 3 studies which included a total of 131,421 individuals aged 40 years and older with no pre-existing venous thromboembolism. The length of time spent TV watching was evaluated using a questionnaire and individuals were categorized as prolonged viewers (a minimum of 4 hours a day watching TV) and never/seldom viewers (under 2.5 hours a day watching TV). It was revealed that prolonged watchers had 1.35 times more risk of developing venous thromboembolism in comparison to never/seldom viewers.
A possible reason for the observed association is that prolonged TV watching involves immobilization which is a risk factor for venous thromboembolism. This is why individuals are encouraged to move around after surgery or for the duration of a long-haul flight. Also, sitting in a cramped position for extended periods results in blood pooling in the extremities instead of circulating which can lead to blood clots. Binge-watchers also have a tendency for eating unhealthy snacks which could cause high blood pressure and obesity, both of which increase the risk of blood clots.