Photo: Bigstock Images
The word “stream” and the phrase “binge watch” are aspects of everyday modern dialogue. Watercooler talk involves just how much streamed content is binge watched during a specific amount of time. “Super bingers” watch television for at least 24 hours straight.
Yet, such seemingly innocuous badges of honor have health ramifications.
“Sitting for long periods of time can increase one’s metabolic symptoms, which can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes,” said Dr. Sophia Tolliver, a family medicine physician at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus. She said binge-watching television can also lead to poor sleep and unhealthy lifestyle choices.
The National Institutes of Health points to researchers’ assertion that mental health is also affected by excessive content streaming. Often referred to as “binge-watching blues,” an addiction or hyper-focus on a series for multiple hours can lead to depression, isolation, and loneliness.
And Sleep Review in April explained that binge-watching television both disrupts sleep patterns and causes sleep deprivation. Psychology Today in January 2018 pointed to studies that have found watching more than two hours of television on a daily basis results in problems with falling asleep, waking during the night, and waking too early in the morning with the inability to fall back to sleep.
Generally, what Johns Hopkins Medicine refers to as “sitting disease” can result in weight gain, heart conditions, circulation issues and more. Any time a body is sedentary for prolonged periods of time, health suffers. Hopkins Medicine shared:
“A large review of studies published in 2015 in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that even after adjusting for physical activity, sitting for long periods was associated with worse health outcomes including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. Sedentary behavior can also increase your risk of dying, either from heart disease or other medical problems.”
To curb binge-watching, set limits, engage in other activities inside and outside the home, exercise, volunteer, learn new skills, etc.