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They can happen if you spend a lazy afternoon on the couch, binge-watching your favorite show! That’s the conclusion of a new study in the journal Circulation. The researchers found people who watched more than five hours of TV a day were two-and-a-half times more likely to have died from a pulmonary embolism. But even watching two-hours of TV a day raised the risk of a pulmonary embolism by 70%. That’s a clot that breaks free, travels to the lungs and causes a heart attack or sudden death. Basically, any time spent sedentary can slow your blood flow way down – leading to clots.

Dr. Elain Hylek is an expert in blood clots – and she says anyone who watches a lot of TV should take steps to reduce their risk.

Like after every half-hour of watching, stand up, stretch, walk around. Or while you’re watching, tense and relax your leg muscles for 5 minutes. Also, drink water while you’re watching, which helps blood flow more smoothly. Dr. Hylek says even if that extra water makes you want to get up and go to the bathroom, THAT alone could reduce your risk.

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