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The TV Habit You Need to Break

It could increase inflammation in the body.

Every athlete knows that education is a crucial part of performance. Sport and exercise research, insight from top trainers, science, and technology help you to better understand your body so you can craft a healthier lifestyle, workouts, and recovery plan.

In our daily news series, experts address some of the latest fitness research, nutrition, style, and health stories.


THE SCIENCE
In a new survey of over 8,000 adults, published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, researchers found that watching TV was correlated with cardiovascular and cancer mortality. The participants were categorized into three groups based on their viewing habits: less than two hours, two to four hours, and more than four hours. Those in the latter category showed a two-fold risk of dying from inflammatory-related causes as compared to those who watched two hours or less. 
EXPERT INSIGHT

After a long day at work and a tough workout, you might be in the habit of putting on (multiple episodes of) your favorite show as a way to unwind after dinner. But, “sitting, compared to regularly moving around, has been shown to lead to higher blood sugar and fat levels following a meal, which may be pro-inflammatory,” says lead study author Megan Grace, Ph.D., researcher at the Baker Heart & Diabetes Institute in Australia. Moreover, exercise won't necessarily offset the risks. “This suggests there are other factors associated with TV viewing that may be important for disease risk, such as the propensity of people to snack while watching,” she adds.

THE BOTTOM LINE
Limit TV viewing time as much as possible. And when you are watching a show, be mindful of what you're eating and try to get up and move around at least once every half hour, Grace suggests.