Television Viewing May Be Linked to Mortality

According to a study by the American Heart Association, adults who watch three or more hours of TV a day may double their risk of premature death.

“Television viewing is a major sedentary behavior and there is an increasing trend toward all types of sedentary behaviors,” said Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., the study’s lead author and professor and chair of the Department of Public Health at the University of Navarra.

“Our findings are consistent with a range of previous studies where time spent watching television was linked to mortality” as stated in the press release.

Researchers evaluated over 13,200 Spanish university graduates with an average age of 37 to determine the association of television viewing, computer and driving time to death from lack of exercise. The risk of death was twofold higher for those who watched three or more hours a day.

However, as far as time spent using a computer or driving, there were no indications of the same. The participants were followed for eight years and researchers reported 97 deaths with 19 deaths from cardiovascular causes, 46 from cancer and 32 from other causes.

To help prevent premature death, the AHA provides a list of recommendations for overall cardiovascular health:

  • At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least five days per week for a total of 150 minutes OR at least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least three days per week for a total of 75 minutes. A combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity works as well.
  • Moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity at least two days per week for additional health benefits.

For lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, the AHA recommends an average of 40 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity three or four times per week.

Remember that height, weight and blood pressure can make a difference when applying for life insurance. Regular exercise will help keep those in check so that after receiving a life insurance exam, you can qualify for better rates.

Want to learn more about life insurance? Read our article The Most Frequently Asked Life Insurance Questions.

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