People spending more than four continues hours a day in front of a computer or TV are 125% more likely to suffer a heart related death than people that spend less than two hours a day in front of a screen. They also discovered that these people are 48% percent more likely to suffer an early death from a variety of other causes. As for the people that spend five or more hours a day in front of a computer, they increase their risk of early death substantially.
While an obvious thought would be that people spending this much time in front of a computer or television are lethargic, leading to health problems. However the data shows otherwise. People that regularly exercise in their free time were just as prone to an early death.
These researchers believe that this may be caused from prolonged sitting. It can cause a 90% reduction in heart-healthy enzyme and lipoprotein lipase. Inflammation and metabolic problems caused by long periods of inactivity may also be to blame.
They do believe there is a solution. If you get up every 20 minutes to take a brief walk it will reduce these problems and may increase your chances for a prolonged life.
UPDATE: The Research, led by Emmanuel Stamatakis, studied more than 4,500 Scottish people aged 35 or over. The cause of these health problems is sitting, especially in the leaned position that is common while playing video games, watching TV and using a computer. The study, which will appear in the January 18 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, adds to growing evidence of the dangers of prolonged sitting.