Television Viewing Time and Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Physically Active Adults

Sarfaroj Khan 

June 22, 2020


  • This study suggests that meeting physical activity (PA) recommendations (at least 150 minutes/week of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes/week of vigorous-intensity PA) may marginally ameliorate the association between television (TV) viewing and cardiovascular (CVD) risk.

  • 2.5 hours or more per day of television viewing confers a higher CVD risk as indicated by a higher mean body mass index (BMI) and mean 30-year Framingham risk score.

Why this matters

  • Findings highlight the independent association between TV viewing and CVD risk and suggest that reducing daily TV viewing to less than 2.5 hours, even in physically active adults, is a clinical and public health priority.

Study design

  • This population-based, cross-sectional study included 340,146 adults using data from the UK Biobank between 2006 and 2010.

  • Primary outcome: CVD risk measured by the 30-year Framingham risk score.

  • Funding: University of Delaware Research Foundation and others.

Key results

  • Linear regression models indicated that every additional hour of TV viewing was associated with a 3% increase in 30-year CVD risk (adjusted Coefficient [aCoeff], 0.03; Cohen’s d [d]=0.16; P<.0001) and meeting PA recommendations correlated with a 0.2% decrease in CVD risk (aCoeff, −0.002; d=0.01; P<.01).

  • The interaction between TV viewing with meeting PA guidelines marginally correlated with CVD risk (aCoeff, 0.0010; d=0.01; P=.0142).

  • Every additional hour of TV viewing per day correlated with a 0.54 increase in BMI (aCoeff, 0.54; d=0.13; P<.0001) and meeting PA recommendations correlated with a 0.75 decrease in BMI (aCoeff, −0.75; d=0.17; P<.0001).

  • The interaction between TV viewing with meeting PA guidelines was not significantly associated with BMI (aCoeff, 0.0002; d<0.01; P=.99).

  • In regression tree models, TV viewing for >2.5 vs <2.5 hours/day was associated with pronounced increases in CVD risk (Framingham risk score: 0.5 [standard deviation [SD], 0.18] vs 0.42 [SD, 0.18] and BMI: 27.86 [SD, 4.60] vs 26.26 [SD, 4.20]).


  • Recall and selection bias.

  • Study did not consider workplace sedentary behaviour and PA.

Patterson F, Mitchell JA, Dominick G, Lozano AJ, Huang L, Hanlon AL. Does meeting physical activity recommendations ameliorate association between television viewing with cardiovascular disease risk? A cross-sectional, population-based analysis. BMJ Open. 2020;10(6):e036507. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-036507. PMID: 32532775.  Full text.

This clinical summary first appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.


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