Long Hours of Watching TV Can Cause Blood Clots

September 24, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. pool / pul / (v.) – to increase in amount in one part of the body
Example: Inactivity causes blood to pool in the legs.

2. conduct / kənˈdʌkt / (v.) – to lead something
Example: The doctors conducted a study on blood clots.

3. relatively / ˈrɛl ə tɪv li / (adv.) – in relation to something
Example: Online video streaming is relatively more fun than watching TV.

4. on the rise / ɒn ðə raɪz / (idiom) – increasing in number
Example: Obesity is on the rise in our country.

5. in one sitting / ɪn wʌn ˈsɪt ɪŋ / (idiom) – in a short period of time
Example: She finished ten episodes in one sitting.


Read the text below.
Watching TV for more than five hours increases the risk of dying from pulmonary embolism by 70%.

A pulmonary embolism is a blood clot in the lung. Blood clots form during long periods of inactivity. As blood flow slows down, the blood pools and becomes a blood clot in the leg or pelvis. Once the clot breaks free, it can travel to the person’s lungs and stick itself in a small blood vessel, where it becomes more dangerous. Symptoms of having a blood clot include chest pains, leg swelling with discolored skin, fever, and excessive sweating.

The link between a person’s TV habits and the likelihood of developing a pulmonary embolism was discovered by Dr. Hiroyasu Iso, a professor of public health at Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine. Along with his team, Iso conducted a study between 1988 and 1990 involving 89,000 Japanese adults between the ages of 40 and 79. They were asked about the number of hours they spent watching TV. Throughout the years, the researchers kept track of the participants. After 19 years, 59 of the participants were reported to have died from pulmonary embolism. These deaths mostly came from those who watched TV for up to 4.9 hours.

According to Iso, there is a relatively lower chance of this occurrence in Japan compared to Western countries, but he warns that it might be on the rise because of online video streaming. The researchers referred to this as “binge-watching”, or the instance of watching multiple episodes of TV programs in one sitting.

Iso advises that for every hour of watching TV, one should stand, stretch, or walk around for five minutes. Aside from these, there are other ways in which leg clots can be prevented. Other preventive measures include doing physical activities, wearing compression stockings, and drinking plenty of fluids.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         After reading the article, how do you feel about your TV watching habits? Explain.
·         How can people be encouraged to lessen the time they spend watching TV?

Discussion B

·         What do you think is the reason why people spend too much time watching TV?
·         Aside from health hazards, what are other negative effects of spending too much time watching TV?

September 24, 2016