Combined television viewing and computer use and mortality from all-causes and diseases of the circulatory system among adults in the United States

BMC Public Health. 2012 Jan 23;12:70. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-12-70.


Background: Watching television and using a computer are increasingly common sedentary behaviors. Whether or not prolonged screen time increases the risk for mortality remains uncertain.

Methods: Mortality for 7,350 adults aged ≥ 20 years who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey during 1999-2002 and were followed through 2006 was examined. Participants were asked a single question about the amount of time they spent watching television or videos or using a computer during the past 30 days.

Results: During a median follow-up of 5.8 years, 542 participants died. At baseline, 12.7% of participants reported watching television or using a computer less than 1 h per day, 16.4% did so for 1 h, 27.8% for 2 h, 18.7% for 3 h, 10.9% for 4 h, and 13.5% for 5 or more h. After extensive adjustment, the hazard ratio for all-cause mortality for the top category of exposure was 1.30 (95% confidence interval: 0.82, 2.05). No significant trend across categories of exposure was noted. The amount of screen time was also not significantly related to mortality from diseases of the circulatory system.

Conclusions: In the present study, screen time did not significantly predict mortality from all-causes and diseases of the circulatory system.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / ethnology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality*
  • Cause of Death / trends*
  • Computers / statistics & numerical data*
  • Confidence Intervals
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Hispanic Americans
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Assessment
  • Television / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult