TV Watching Linked to Heart Disease

Published:  11/04/2013

Each hour spent watching TV may lead to an 18% greater risk of dying from heart disease if you are of healthy weight and no history of heart disease. Sedentary people who spend more than 4 hours a day watching TV may have a whopping 80% greater risk of death from heart disease. (1) 

In a study published in BMC Medicine, the researchers show that, assuming a causal link, 11% of cases of coronary heart disease could be prevented if people watched less than an hour of TV each day. (2) 

In another study, researchers wanted to know if there was a connection between time spent watching TV and recreational computer use, someone’s DNA, and their risk of coronary heart disease. 4 hours or more of TV watching was associated with the highest risk. Those who reported watching less than an hour of TV had a 16% lower rate. Scientists found this was specifically associated with television watching —using a computer for leisure did not impact disease risk. (3) 

If you watch a considerable amount of TV, consider reducing TV viewing as as a behavioral target for prevention of an early onset of cardiovascular events. Find ways to move more throughout the day. 

Limiting the amount of time sat watching TV could be a beneficial lifestyle change that could help those with a high genetic predisposition to coronary heart disease in particular to manage their risk.


(1)  Circulation, published online January 11, 2010.

(2) University of Cambridge. (2022, May 24). Reducing TV viewing to less than one hour a day could help prevent more than one in ten cases of coronary heart disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 10, 2022 from

(3) Kim, Y., Yeung, S.L.A., Sharp, S.J. et al. Genetic susceptibility, screen-based sedentary activities and incidence of coronary heart disease. BMC Med 20, 188 (2022).

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