ATTN Couch Potatoes: Television Ownership Linked to Increased Risk of Heart Attack.

Calling all couch potatoes...

In building a healthy lifestyle for you and your loved ones, would you consider throwing out the television? According to a new global study published in the European Heart Journal, simply owning a television and a car increases your risk of a heart attack by 27%.

Of course, the television and car – in and of themselves – aren’t to blame. Instead, it’s the sedentary lifestyle that both instruments serve to support. Televisions and cars are markers of sedentary lifestyle.

One can assume that without a television, individuals spend increased leisure time in other activities like walking, hiking, sports, etc. Similarly, without a car, people spend more time traveling on foot or biking. These instances of physical activity help improve cardiovascular function and serve to lower the risk of heart attack.

In a separate, soon-to-be-published study in Journal of the American College of Cardiology, researchers measured the impact of television and computer “screen time” on heart disease and premature death. They concluded that “people who spend excessive amounts of time in front of a screen – primarily watching TV – are more likely to die of any cause and suffer heart related problems.”

In fact, spending 2 – 4 hours a day in front of a screen increased mortality by 48%. Spending 4 or more hours increased the mortality rate by a shocking 125%. Moreover, the associations were independent of traditional risk factors such as smoking, social class, exercise, etc.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise every adult to get at least 150 minutes of physical exercise per week, but the European Heart Journal study suggests that cardiovascular benefits can be reaped even at lower levels.

The bottom line: To support a healthy lifestyle, minimize sedentary time and maximize your active time – even if it’s just a few extra minutes a day of movement. And turn off that TV!

About Davey Wavey

Davey Wavey is a certified personal trainer and YouTube sensation with more than 250 million video views. For Davey's fitness tips and secrets, sign up for his free monthly newsletter - or download any of his affordable and effective workout programs.


  1. Patrick in Chicago says:

    The message is good but the statistics you give are meaningless when you take them out of context. So for “increased mortality by 48%” what is the time frame or what was the thing they measured?

    Everyone has a mortality rate of 100% and “are more likely to die of any cause” — increased risk of heart attack or some other cause may shorten your life but there is no way to increase your mortality rate above 100%.

  2. r dennis leveridge says:

    Davey, if there was a guy like that sitting on my couch, I wouldn’t be watching tv. lol

    • BTW Dennis, you know it girl! XD It’s funny as I write this I am looking at my husband sitting on the couch WOOF! ๐Ÿ˜›

  3. MMM Davey I have to say this is my least favorite of all yer wellness blogs… all yer blogs in general actually. I mean really, owning a TV linked to (WHO the F cares, because a TV is used for SO many things that can be healthy). Then the car thing, I mean really. Next thing you know they will be saying having carpet in yer bathroom increases yer risk of slipping in the shower. Which increase yer mortality rate by 42%. I do like the message that was attempted but this sounds more like people trying to point blame at something other than them self for being sedentary and unhealthy. Also I think you are begging the question a little when you say “one can assume that those who don’t own a TV…” You know what I assume when someone doesn’t own a TV, they are Amish. In fact I make a claim to the entire opposite of what you are saying here. Because I own a TV I am more active, I don’t like gyms, the weather isn’t really agreeable right now to just go on a walk, if it wasn’t for my Wii-fit and fruit ninja I would be doing nothing this winter but homework and watching TV.

  4. christopher says:

    i agree with these findings.i believe them.however-what then could be said of excessive computer usage?im sure thats the case-as well.