The TV habit you need to break

It could increase inflammation in the body.

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In a new survey of over 8,000 adults, published inMedicine & 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.

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.

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.