Large amounts of time spent watching television or staring at a computer screen nearly doubled the risk of mortality, cancer and cardiovascular disease in people with low fitness and strength levels, a new study from Glasgow University found.
But the research, published in the journal BMC Medicine last week, also found that this dangerous relationship between too much down time in front of the TV and general unhealthiness can be offset if fitness is improved.
“Our study shows that the risks associated with sedentary behavior are not the same for everyone,” the study’s co-author Carlos Celis said.
“Individuals with low physical activity experience the greatest adverse effects,” he continued. “This has potential implications for public health guidance as it suggests that specifically targeting people with low fitness and strength for interventions to reduce the time they spend sitting down may be an effective approach.”
One of the telltale factors the researchers discovered when determining fitness based on data collected on over 390,000 people was grip strength. Those with the weakest abilities would benefit the most from reduced screen time and increased exercise.