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. TV binge sessions should therefore be broken up by regular physical activity. Compression socks and stockings also support blood circulation, benefitting your leg health and general well-being.
“Binge-streaming,” as well as spending a lot of time at a desk or traveling long distances, is unfavorable for blood circulation because sitting for hours can slow down blood flow in the veins. This increases risk of thrombosis in the deep veins of the legs and pulmonary embolisms.
Scientists at the University of Bristol have 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 increased 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, walk around the house, do light leg exercises during a long-distance flight, or take regular trips to the kitchen for a sip of water. This activates the calf muscle pump and stimulates 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.