The aims of the study were to analyse the association of television viewing, physical activity (PA), and multimorbidity; and to understand if PA attenuates or eliminates the detrimental associations between television viewing and multimorbidity. This is a cross-sectional study based on data from the European Social Survey round 7, 2014. Participants were 32,931 adults (15,784 men), aged 18–114 years old, from 18 European countries. Self-reported information regarding chronic diseases (CD), PA and time watching television were collected through interview. Logistic regression analysis was conducted to analyse the association between watching television and PA with the presence of multimorbidity (≥1 CD). Men and women who watched television had increased odds of having multimorbidity. When considering PA it was observed that, independently of television viewing, compared to engaging in PA for ≤1 day/week, engaging in 2–4 days/week and in ≥5 days/week was inversely associated with multimorbidity. Increased odds of multimorbidity were observed for men spending >3 h/day watching television in the 2–3 days/week and ≤1 day/week categories of PA. For women engaged in 30 min of physical activity 2–3 days/week, spending >3 h/day watching television was associated with higher odds for multimorbidity. For adults who practiced physical activity on ≥ 5 days/week watching television was not associated with multimorbidity. Time spent watching television is associated with multimorbidity. However, physical activity participation can attenuate or even eliminate this association.
- Non-communicable diseases
- Sedentary behaviour