Television viewing time, overweight, obesity, and severe COVID-19: a brief report from UK Biobank
Background: Overweight and obesity are well-established risk factors for COVID-19 severity; however, less is known about the role of sedentary behaviours such as TV viewing. The purpose of this brief report was to determine whether lower TV viewing time may mitigate the risk of severe COVID-19 in individuals with excess weight.
Methods: We analysed 329 751 UK Biobank participants to investigate the independent and combined associations of BMI and self-reported TV viewing time with odds of severe COVID-19 (inpatient COVID-19 or COVID-19 death).
Results: Between March 16th and December 8th 2020, there were 1648 instances of severe COVID19. Per 1 unit (h/day) increase in TV viewing time, the odds of severe COVID-19 increased by 5% (adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 1.05, 95% confidence interval = 1.02–1.08). Compared to normal-weight individuals with low (≤1h/day) TV viewing time, the ORs for overweight individuals with low and high (≥4h/day) TV viewing time were 1.17 (0.89–1.55) and 1.66 (1.31–2.11), respectively. For individuals with obesity, the respective ORs for low and high TV viewing time were 2.18 (1.61–2.95) and 2.14 (1.69–2.73).
Conclusion: Higher TV viewing time was associated with higher odds of severe COVID-19 independent of BMI and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Additionally, low TV viewing time may partly attenuate the elevated odds associated with overweight, but not obesity.
National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Leicester Biomedical Research Centre
- Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences
Published inJournal of Physical Activity and Health
- AM (Accepted Manuscript)
Rights holder© Human Kinetics, Inc
Publisher statementAccepted author manuscript version reprinted, by permission, from Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 2022, 19 (12): 837-841, https://doi.org/10.1123/jpah.2022-0294. © Human Kinetics, Inc.