Asthma is generally thought to influence sedentary
behavior rather than vice versa: A wheezy child opts to watch TV rather than
risk an exercise-induced asthma attack.
A study from
The study tracked 3,065 children from 3.5 years of age to 11.5 years. None had signs of asthma at the beginning of the study. About 6% of the children had asthma by age 11.
Those who watched TV for more than two hours a day in early childhood were almost twice as likely to have been diagnosed with asthma by age 11 as those who watched less.
What the researchers were striving to measure was not the effects of TV content (which may make you fat or get you pregnant but not necessarily sicken you, at least not physically) but the effects of sedentary behavior on the development of asthma. Television viewing served as a proxy for being a couch potato.
The relationship between physical activity, sedentary behavior and asthma is complicated, the researchers said. One hypothesis is that failure to stretch airway muscles by the kind of regular deep breathing that comes from exercise may contribute to the development of asthma.
The damage appears to occur early. By age 11, pretty much everybody was a couch potato, but asthma rates did not continue to rise in adolescence.
Clean the house at least once a week and wear a mask while doing it
Avoid pets with fur or feathers
Wash the bedding (sheets, pillow cases, mattress pads) weekly in hot water
Encase the mattress, pillows and box springs in dust-proof covers