TV and Blood ClotsEven people who lead an active lifestyle and exercise regularly often find themselves spending hours in front of the television binge-watching their favorite TV show. With hundreds of channels available, it can be tempting to stay on the sofa longer than we intended.

When you add that to the hours a day most people spend sitting at a desk or in their cars, that’s a big part of our day that we spend sitting. You’ve likely heard that “sitting is the new smoking.” All of that sitting, as our Atlanta vein doctors tell our patients, can be dangerous to our health.

Researchers Link Increased TV Time to Pulmonary Blood Clots

A recently-published study by Japanese researchers looked at the correlation between television watching and blood clots. They tracked the TV-watching habits of over 86,000 people in their 40s through 70s over nearly 20 years and the incidents of pulmonary blood clots in those participants in the study. They determined that:

  • For every additional two hours per day of TV watching above 2.5 hours, participants increased their risk of a blood clot by 40 percent.
  • Those who watched more than five hours of TV each day had a 2.5 times greater chance of developing a clot.

How Are Pulmonary Blood Clots Caused by Sitting?

While these are pulmonary blood clots and given that name because they end up in the lung, most start in the legs or pelvis. If a person is sedentary for long periods, the blood flow through the legs slows, which can cause it to clot. If that clot breaks free and moves to the lung, it can be fatal (as it was for 59 of the people in the study).

While most people who have varicose veins and other types of vein disease don’t develop blood clots, they’re all related to vascular health and circulatory issues. That’s one reason why, if a person has varicose veins, particularly if they’re causing symptoms like pain, swelling, heaviness and fatigue, it’s essential to see an Atlanta vein specialist who can diagnose the cause and extent of the problem.

How Can You Reduce Your Risk?

While we would never tell our patients to forgo their favorite TV shows or video games, we encourage people to take a break every hour or so, walk around and stretch. This is wise if you’re sitting anywhere for a long period. If you can keep your legs elevated, preferably with your feet above your heart, that can also help keep your blood from pooling in your lower legs.

If you’re suffering from unsightly varicose veins or other unpleasant symptoms of vein disease, one of our non-invasive vein removal treatments may be able to provide you with relief and help reduce the chance of clotting. Contact us to schedule a consultation so that we can properly diagnose you and recommend the best treatment for you.