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Every Hour of TV You Watch Increases Your Risk for Type 2 Diabetes

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Watching too much tellie has been linked with everything from increasing your risk for obesity to making you feel lonely and depressed, even shortening your lifespan. Now, research has found that zoning out for hours can also increase your risk for type 2 diabetes. (Your Brain On: Binge Watching TV.)

In fact, every hour you watch TV increases your risk of developing type 2 by 3.4 percent, according to a new study in Diabetologia. It’s not the mind-numbing content or the omnipresent snacks that come with your nightly routine (although these certainly don’t help your overall health). It’s the simple act of parking yourself on the couch and not getting up for hours. (If you thought TV was innocent, you'll be shocked by these 11 Things You're Doing That Could Shorten Your Life.)

The study authors actually looked at a previous research they had done that found that people with a high risk of developing diabetes were more likely to avoid this fate after lifestyle intervention, which involved a whole slew of methods to help people become more active and adopt healthier habits.

In their new study, the researchers looked at how this lifestyle intervention effort impacted time spent sitting. They found that the people who became more active—i.e. started working out in the morning or taking a walk at night—also became less sedentary at work and at home, in particular reducing the number of hours they spent in front of the TV. For those who did not reduce their television time, every hour they spent watching increased their risk for developing diabetes by 3.4 percent.

While this is a bummer (this weekend is the perfect time to binge watch all of Game of Thrones before the season five premiere, after all), these findings are actually good news for all you lively ladies: People who moved more—in and out of the gym—were naturally less likely to spend an unhealthy amount of time sitting (which is reassuring, since research shows that working out alone doesn't negate the damage sitting all day does to your body). Just to be safe, though, check out 3 Ways to Stay Healthier While Watching TV.

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