Every hour spent in front of television increases the risk of dying from heart disease by 7 per cent, a study has revealed.
Those looking at their favourite progammes for four hours a day face a 28 per cent rise in the risk. The research led by Medical Research Council shows that changes in lifestyle could stem the toll from heart disease.
For almost a decade, researchers from the MRC Epidemiology Unit studied 13,197 middle-aged, healthy men and women in Norfolk. It showed that 373 of the participants died from heart disease.
It was found that the amount of time spent watching television was a significant marker of the likelihood of death from heart disease.
Scientists estimated that deaths can be avoided if TV viewing times had been reduced from four hours a day to just one hour, reports dailymail.co.uk.
Study co-author Dr Katrien Wijndaele warned: "Our bodies are not designed to sit for long periods and we should be aware that, as we put in the TV hours watching the World Cup, our risk of heart disease is probably increasing".