It’s 11pm and you’re onto your 12th hour in front of a computer screen – Netflix binge included. This may sound like the typical work and play culture for most these days, but researchers are suggesting that it’s also a ticket to your early funeral.
“Individuals with low physical activity experience the greatest adverse effects.”
According to a new study published in the open access journal, BMC Medicine, the impact of extensive screen time on cardiovascular disease, cancer incidence and mortality may be increased in those who don’t hit the gym when compared to those who do.
More specifically, the findings revealed that people who have lower levels of grip-strength, fitness and physical activity are the most at risk if they spend extensive hours basking under a screen.
The mortality rate of double just for binge watching your favourite show is probably the most unsettling factor for most, but there is a solution. Researchers from Glasgow University believe that by simply increasing your strength and fitness, couch potatoes can offset the life threatening health affects of screen gazing.
“Our study shows that the risks associated with sedentary behaviour are not the same for everyone; individuals with low physical activity experience the greatest adverse effects,” says Dr Carlos Celis, the study’s author.
“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.”
Additionally, Dr. Celis believes that measuring grip strength is a very promising way to weed out those who are most at risk of the diseases.
“While fitness testing can be difficult in healthcare and community settings, grip strength is a quick, simple and cheap measure, therefore it would be easy to implement as a screening tool in a variety of settings.”
Even though 391,089 participants from the UK had participated in this study, its researchers are aware that a straight cause and effect conclusion can’t be drawn just yet. Factors such as self-reported screen time and hours spent on physical activity means that the result may be slightly inaccurate, if not indicative of future health concerns for workaholics.
Until then we’d highly recommend you take this as a precaution and work on preventing your muscle mass from deteriorating as you age.