Some UK researchers have studied the question on everyone’s minds and found that it’s true: Your iPad is killing you.
People who use iPads for 4+ hours a day have a greater chance of dying than people who use them less than 2 hours a day.
The good news, such as it is, is that it’s not just your iPad: Your TV is killing you, too. And your Mac. And your PC. And your iPhone. And all things that involve “screen time.”
Basically, “recreational sitting,” which is what it’s called when you play Angry Birds on your iPad instead of say, throwing a baseball outside, increases your odds of having a “mortality event.” Interestingly, these increased odds of dying are not just due to your being fatter and more out of shape because you spend more time sitting on your butt.
Here’s the summary from the Journal of the American College of Cardiology:
Conclusions: Recreational sitting, as reflected by television/screen viewingtime, is related to raised mortality and CVD [cardio-vascular disease] risk regardlessof physical activity participation. Inflammatory and metabolicrisk factors partly explain this relationship.
And here are some details:
Objectives: The aim of this study was to examine the independent relationshipsof television viewing or other screen-based entertainment (“screentime”) with all-cause mortality and clinically confirmed cardiovasculardisease (CVD) events. A secondary objective was to examine theextent to which metabolic (body mass index, high-density lipoproteinand total cholesterol) and inflammatory (C-reactive protein)markers mediate the relationship between screen time and CVDevents.
Background: Although some evidence suggests that prolonged sitting is linkedto CVD risk factor development regardless of physical activityparticipation, studies with hard outcomes are scarce.
Methods: A population sample of 4,512 (1,945 men) Scottish Health Survey2003 respondents (
35 years) were followed up to 2007 for all-causemortality and CVD events (fatal and nonfatal combined). Mainexposures were interviewer-assessed screen time (<2 h/day;2 to <4 h/day; and
4 h/day) and moderate to vigorous intensityphysical activity.
Results: Two hundred fifteen CVD events and 325 any-cause deaths occurredduring 19,364 follow-up person-years. The covariable (age, sex,ethnicity, obesity, smoking, social class, long-standing illness,marital status, diabetes, hypertension)-adjusted hazard ratio(HR) for all-cause mortality was 1.52 (95% confidence interval[CI]: 1.06 to 2.16) and for CVD events was 2.30 (95% CI: 1.33to 3.96) for participants engaging in
4 h/day of screen timerelative to <2 h/day. Adjusting for physical activity attenuatedthese associations only slightly (all-cause mortality: HR: 1.48,95% CI: 1.04 to 2.13; CVD events: HR: 2.25, 95% CI: 1.30 to3.89). Exclusion of participants with CVD events in the first2 years of follow-up and previous cancer registrations did notchange these results appreciably. Approximately 25% of the associationbetween screen time and CVD events was explained collectivelyby C-reactive protein, body mass index, and high-density lipoproteincholesterol.