A new study from the University of Vermont in Burlington revealed that Watching Television for a prolonged period of time can increase the risk of developing Blood clots in the leg veins or lungs.

The study, presented at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association, showed that people who tend to binge-watch their favorite shows or movies have 1.7 times higher risk of developing a so-called Venous thromboembolism (VTE), compared to those who seldom or never watch television.

For the study, the researchers used the data of more than 15,000 middle-aged participants of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study.

Among the participants, those who reported watching television “very often” were 1.7 times more likely to develop VTE than those who reported “never or seldom” watching television.

Interestingly, participants who met the recommended guidelines for physical activity but reported watching television very often have 1.8 times higher risk than those who reported watching television never or seldom.

VTE third leading vascular diagnosis in the United States

Affecting about 300,000 to 600,000 Americans each year, VTE is considered to be the third leading vascular diagnosis in the U.S., following heart attack and stroke. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the 60,000 to 100,000 Americans die of VTE, with 10 to 30 percent of those dying within one month of diagnosis.

Often underdiagnosed, VTE is a serious but preventable medical condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein. There are two types of VTE. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a clot in a deep vine, usually in the leg, but sometimes in the arm or other veins. On the other hand, pulmonary embolism occurs when the DVT breaks free from a vein wall and travels to the lungs, blocking some or all of the blood supply.

Healthy and active lifestyle can lower the risk of VTE

VTE is more common in adults 60-year-old and over. However, it can occur at any age, though rarely observed in children. Surgery, hospitalization, and immobilization, as well as cancer, can increase the likelihood of VTE.

Due to the increased risk of VTE brought about by prolonged television watching, the researchers recommend simple changes on people’s watching habits.

Mary Cushman M.D., M.Sc., co-author of the study and professor of medicine at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, encourage the use of a treadmill or stationary bike while watching television. They also urge people to have a 30-minute walk before sitting in front of televisions. Consumers can also utilize the record settings on their television to save their favorite shows.