24 June, 2022

Does watching TV increase the risk of thrombosis?

TV and streaming series are extremely popular, even more so during the Covid-19 pandemic. But they also conceal risks: Prolonged sitting can increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), according to a recent meta-analysis. Any "binge watching" of TV series should therefore be broken up by regular physical activity; compression stockings also support blood circulation and thus leg and general well-being.

Does watching TV increase the risk of thrombosis?

“Binge-watching,” as well as spending a lot of time at a desk or traveling long distances, are unfavorable for the blood circulation, because sitting for hours on end can slow down blood flow in the veins. The risk of thrombosis in the deep veins of the legs and pulmonary embolisms is high.

Scientists at the University of Bristol have now calculated the danger: Their publication, "Television viewing and venous thrombo-embolism: a systematic review and meta-analysis,” is based on three observational studies with data from a total of 131,421 subjects. It found that the risk of thrombosis grew with increasing television viewing. Participants who watched more than 4 hours of television a day were 35 percent more likely to suffer venous thromboembolism compared to people who watched less than 2.5 hours a day. Age, gender and body mass index are of secondary importance, and slim and athletic people are also at risk.

Recommended: regular physical activity... and compression stockings

So schedule regular breaks for exercise during any “sitting marathon.” For example, with a walk around the house, light leg exercises during a long-distance flight, in the office or at home or regular trips to the tea kitchen. This activates the calf muscle pump and thus stimulates the blood flow in the leg veins. Compression stockings also improve the rate of blood flow, using the same principle as the calf muscles: The controlled pressure that compression stockings exert on the legs reduces the diameter of the main veins, thereby accelerating blood flow to the heart.

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