Spending too long in front of the television can dramatically raise your risk of developing deep vein thrombosis.
People who watch very often' are 71 % more likely to get a potentially fatal blood clot in their leg, a study found. This can result in either DVT or a pulmonary embolism a blood clot in the lungs.
More commonly associated with long-haul flights and hospital patients, deep vein thrombosis can also occur from sitting too long, cutting off vital blood flow to the legs.
New US research shows that even fit people are at risk. Lead author Kasuhiko Kubota said regular exercise did not reduce the potential harms of prolonged sedentary behaviours such as TV viewing'. The risk was higher whether or not the victim had been overweight.
The University of Minnesota asked 15,000 people aged 45-64 how often they watched TV. Those who said very often' were 1.7 times more likely to suffer a blood clot than those who said seldom' or never'.
There were 691 DVT or pulmonary embolism cases in the study, the Journal of Thrombosis and Thrombolysis reported.
Prolonged sitting disrupts blood flow through the legs and feet. Others known to be at risk are post-operative patients and long-haul jet passengers.
DVT affects 60,000 Britons a year and starts with pain, swelling and a heavy leg ache.