Have you ever spent an entire evening streaming episodes of House of Cards or have you ever spent a full weekend catching up on last Breaking Bad or Lost on Netflix? Well you are not alone. Turns out that 61 percent of TV streamers regularly engage in binge-watching, according to a recent survey conducted on behalf of Netflix.
No one ever claimed that watching TV was healthy, but doctors are only now discovering just how bad it can be. Evidence from recent studies suggests that the more TV you watch, the more likely you are to develop a host of health problems and to die at an earlier age. In a new analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers combined data from eight studies and found that for every additional two hours people spend glued to the TV, tablet, or phone on a typical day, their risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases by 20% and their risk of heart disease increases by 15%
With that in mind, another study coming out of the University of Austin Texas on habitual binge watching proved to show that depression and binge-watching were very much connected: The more lonely and depressed the participants were, the more likely they were to devour giant chunks of TV programming. Subjects most often used this activity to avoid negative feelings, which is behaviour also favoured by binge-eaters and binge-drinkers. Though these findings certainly don’t give the Netflix fanatics among us much to feel good about, it’s important to note that these findings merely represent a connection or correlation, not a direct cause : for instance binge-watching “The Walking Dead” isn’t necessarily going to make you depressed or lonely.
Too much of anything proves toxic so if you must binge, make it healthier by standing, stretching, and taking mini breaks for physical activity. Also, try not to snack while you watch since this usually leads to overeating. Chatting with fellow fans about the show can also make your binge habit healthier, since it pulls you away from the main screen and allows you to reflect on what you’ve just watched. Using a wildly popular TV series as a conversation topic can possibly help you relate to others more easily. Even though some people argue that binge-watching is a harmless addiction, findings from many new studies suggest otherwise. While viewing a few episodes in a row to create more of a story arc than can be done in an hour can be a good experience. Excessive episode watching combined with lack of exercise or interaction with others can prove hazardous to your health.
Binge Watching Isn’t Bad, It’s All About Viewer Choice.