by Baker Institute
from 4,099 participants of the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and
Lifestyle Study (AusDiab) has revealed that an increase in daily
TV-watching time is significantly associated with an increase in bodily
pain severity over time, according to a new study from the Baker Heart
and Diabetes Institute.
Bodily pain is common in aging adults and a common presentation in several chronic diseases, including people living with type 2 diabetes.
found that increments in TV-viewing time over time predicted bodily
pain severity," Professor David Dunstan, principal researcher and Head
of the Baker-Deakin Department of Lifestyle and Diabetes said. "Even a
one-hour increase in daily TV time was significantly associated with an
increase in pain severity.
"And those findings were even more pronounced in those living with type 2 diabetes."
The study, published last week in the journal BMC Public Health,
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.
study found that as average daily TV-viewing time increased, bodily
pain worsened (score decreased). The mean bodily pain score for those
aged 50 years at the start of the study, for example, was 76.9 and
worsened by 0.3 units year-on-year. 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.
study also found that the bodily pain scores for people living with
type 2 diabetes were even more pronounced. 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 significantly.
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.
new findings highlight the benefits of reducing time spent in sedentary
behaviors, for both the general population and those living with
"We know that increasing physical activity is
a mainstay of the prevention and management of chronic health problems,
but these new findings highlight the positive impact that reducing
sedentary behaviors could have," Professor Dunstan said.
something as simple as reducing daily TV-watching time can have a
profound effect on bodily pain trajectories that occur with aging, and
also potentially be a non-pharmacologic intervention, or work
hand-in-hand with other therapies, for chronic pain management."
volumes of sedentary time have been shown to be associated with
increased risk of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes,
and some cancers. This study, however, is the first to report evidence
of an increase in severity of bodily pain with advancing age in
middle-aged and older adults with increasing hours per day spent watching television.