Longer TV time linked to stronger bodily pain

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In a study from the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, scientists found that an increase in daily TV-watching time is strongly linked to an increase in bodily pain severity over time.

Bodily pain is common in aging adults and a common presentation in several chronic diseases, including people living with type 2 diabetes.

In the study, the team used data from 4,099 participants of the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study.

They derived bodily pain score data using a validated self-report survey instrument for assessing health-related quality of life.

The scores were measured on a 0–100 scale, whereby the lowest possible score of 0 indicated severe bodily pain and 100 indicated no bodily pain.

The team found that increments in TV viewing time over time predicted bodily pain severity. As average daily TV-viewing time increased, bodily pain worsened (score decreased).

Even a one-hour increase in daily TV time was strongly associated with an increase in pain severity.

An increase of one hour in TV watching led to a worsening of bodily pain by 0.69 units (score further decreased), or the equivalent of more than two years of pain associated with natural aging.

And those findings were even more pronounced in those living with type 2 diabetes.

The type 2 diabetes cohort had higher TV-viewing time and more severe bodily pain than those without the condition.

People without type 2 diabetes watched on average 1.6 hours per day, compared to 2.2 hours for people with type 2 diabetes.

When TV-watching time increased above 2.5 hours per day, the impact on bodily pain severity increased even more strongly

Long uninterrupted periods of time spent sitting (sedentary behavior), especially watching TV, can adversely impact blood glucose control, insulin and other aspects of metabolism in people with type 2 diabetes.

Such alterations in metabolism increase levels of inflammation, which can act to precipitate bodily pain.

These new findings highlight the benefits of reducing time spent in sedentary behaviors, for both the general population and those living with chronic disease.

If you care about pain, please read studies that medical pot may help you avoid opioid painkillers, and painkiller ibuprofen may strongly influence your liver.

For more information about pain, please see recent studies about the most effective drugs for neuropathic pain, and results showing water exercise could help reduce chronic lower back pain.

The study was conducted by Professor David Dunstan et al and published in the journal BMC Public Health.

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