We already know that too much screen time can affect everything from sleep quality to creativity, but a new study out of the University of Glasgow explains that the effects might be more far-reaching than we once thought.
The study followed almost 500,000 participants aged 37-73 over a 12 year period between 2006 and 2018. What they found is that if all participants limited television time to two hours a day, potentially 5.62% of all deaths and 7.97% of deaths due to cardiovascular disease could have been prevented or delayed. Health risks associated with screen time, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, were at their lowest when daily TV time was two hours or less.
It was not just the traditional television screen that was included in the study, watching videos on a mobile phone counted too.
Dr. Hamish Foster from the University of Glasgow’s Institute of Health and Wellbeing led the study. He said that the latest research backed the current evidence that watching too much TV – and living a sedentary lifestyle more generally – could lead to poor health. He added that unhealthy snacking and lower socioeconomic status are linked to both TV time and poor health.
“Further research is needed to understand all these factors and inform future advice and guidelines.” The good news is that there are plenty of healthy alternatives you can do instead of watching TV, such as taking a stroll through the park.