4 hours of television per day increases the risk of sleep apnea



a person lying on a bed: Sedentary lifestyle and screen time are associated with a significantly increased risk of sleep apnea.


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Sedentary lifestyle and screen time are associated with a significantly increased risk of sleep apnea.

A sedentary lifestyle and spending time in front of the TV increases the risk of sleep apnea, according to a recently published study. To remedy this, researchers advise regular physical activity and spending less time in front of a screen.

According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, two factors could contribute to the onset of sleep apnea: a sedentary lifestyle and watching too much television.

Sleep apnea is “when your breathing is interrupted during sleep for at least 10 seconds at a time and around five times per hour,” according to UC Health. Severe obstructive sleep apnea means having 30 such episodes per hour, while mild cases may have five. French statistics suggest that sleep apnea affects 7.9{028e8b43b440f88d50a94b0ac799d5b93a220d942414697744f001bd74eb64d0} of people aged 20 to 44, 19.7{028e8b43b440f88d50a94b0ac799d5b93a220d942414697744f001bd74eb64d0} of those aged 45-64 and 30.5{028e8b43b440f88d50a94b0ac799d5b93a220d942414697744f001bd74eb64d0} of those over 65.

To discover the factors that aggravate this disorder, researchers used medical information collected in large studies called the Nurses Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study that ran concurrently over the periods 1995-2013 and 2002-2012. These included, respectively, 68,265 women,50,332 women and 19,320 men.

The researchers particularly focused on data regarding physical activity, screens and the presence of sleep apnea.

Spending four hours in front of a screen was associated with a 78{028e8b43b440f88d50a94b0ac799d5b93a220d942414697744f001bd74eb64d0} increased risk of sleep apnea. The researchers indicated that having a sedentary job was associated with a 49{028e8b43b440f88d50a94b0ac799d5b93a220d942414697744f001bd74eb64d0} increased risk of sleep apnea. According to the study, spending time in front of the television is characterized by a prolonged period of inactivity.

To reduce the risks, there’s no miracle solution: the researchers advise practicing a daily physical activity equivalent to at least 10 000 steps per day and to spend less time in front of a screen.

Louis Tardy

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