Watching too much television may increase the risk of dementia in older people, according to a new study.
Spending more than three-and-a-half hours per day glued to TV favorites doubled memory decline in over-50s, the research team from University College London, who followed more than 3,600 over-50s for six years, found.
They say that couch potatoes may be harmed by missing out on other brain-boosting activities, such as reading a newspaper.
Screen addicts saw their “verbal memory” decline by around 10 percent over the six year period, while participants watching less than 3.5 hours daily only saw a five percent reduction.
Experts concluded too much telly seemed to be fueling brain power loss.
Further, the study found that just passively observing the screen — without interacting — may also stress a pensioner’s mind.
Researcher Daisy Fancourt said the findings raise questions about television viewing as a dementia risk.
“Overall this suggests that adults over the age of 50 should try and ensure television viewing is balanced with other activities, such as reading a newspaper, listening to music or social interaction.”