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Beware, Binge-Watching Can Be Addictive & Physically Hurt You Too

Binge-watching can be harmful. So, keep a few quick tips in mind before embarking on that TV show marathon!

Updated
Fit
6 min read
Beware, Binge-Watching Can Be Addictive & Physically Hurt You Too
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It’s the age of netflix and no chill. So many episodes, so little time. Have to attend a party, but haven’t watched enough popular shows to start a conversation? Enter marathon-viewing sessions.

We’ve all spent hours at an end binge-watching shows on online-streaming platforms. But what if you can’t stop? A 26-year-old man who was unemployed and turned to Netflix to shut out reality for more than six months has been admitted to NIMHANS in first such case, reports The Hindu.

Cancelling plans with friends, giving up on social life, losing sleep – only for completing that long list of episodes in one go. It’s the new normal. We’ve all been guilty of binge-watching our favourite TV shows late into the night on our laptops, sliding into postures our backs and necks will never forgive us for.

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Ya, you do need help. Fear not, just read on.

Here’s how binge-watching can be harmful for you. Along with quick tips on what you should keep in mind while watching Jon Snow usher in winter.

Mind Your Posture

Slouching in bed to watch TV or movies, may be your way of relaxing but it’s doing more harm than good.

Binge-watching with your back and shoulders in wrong positions for long hours can be extremely damaging for your spine. It can lead to chronic symptoms and common problems like cervical spondylosis, back ache and stiffness, weak spinal muscles and headaches.
Dr Ishu Srivastava, Physiotherapist
Quick tip: Keep your back well-supported and upright while watching. Either sit on a chair with a good back support or sit upright on your bed with back rested on the head of the bed and both knees bent. Make sure your head is level with the screen, so that you don’t tilt it up or down to watch.
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Don’t Be a Sloth

We tend to sit in the same posture, whether good or bad, for unnaturally long hours while binge-watching. Scientific studies have shown that prolonged television viewing increases the risk of obesity and related diseases such as diabetes.

Staying put in one position for long hours results in slow blood circulation and stiffness which is very harmful. Inactivity also leads to weight gain and if people have a habit of eating junk while watching, it adds to the problem.
Dr Garima Myne, Physiotherapist
Quick tip: Take regular breaks while watching. Try and get up every 20 minutes or so, stretch yourself and then continue. Your neck, shoulders and legs will thank you. Also, don’t munch on junk while watching!
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You’ll Need Your Eyes to Watch – Rest Them

“You’ll go blind!” shouts every parent ever when kids watch TV for too long or sitting too close.

Looking at screens for too long affects our eyesight, makes the eyes either watery or dry and irritable. Laptop screens emit radiations which harm our eyes.

Quick Tip: Give your eyes a break. Voluntarily blink them and wash them to keep them from drying. Maintain adequate distance between your eyes and the screen. Also, watch in a well-lit room.
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Stop Losing Sleep Over Plot Lines

Don’t be like Frank Underwood here, love your sleep. Losing an episode a day is better than losing your sleep.

Mostly, we’re binge-watching at night after a tiring day at office or college. You start with one episode and before you know it, you’ve almost completed a season and it’s 4am. This adversely affects our body clock and sleep cycles leading to headaches and other related problems like diabetes and respiratory issues.

Quick Tip: Catch up on your sleep. Make a schedule to complete your favourite shows such that you’re not up till the wee hours hooked to your screen.
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Give Your Mind Some Rest

Excess of anything is bad. The same goes for watching TV. You may have felt drained and mentally tired after too many hours of watching shows or movies (I have).

Binge-watching has been linked to mental health problems like depression. And a recent study revealed that binge-watching is tied to feelings of loneliness and depression. It also said that those who binge-watch lacked the self-regulation to stop, suggesting that binge-watching may be an addictive behavior.

Quick Tip: Don’t overindulge. Keep a balance between your daily chores and watching these shows. Try spacing it out and avoid watching more than two episodes a day.

So, the next time you’re watching any TV show, resist the urge to click on “next episode”. Suspense can be fun, sometimes!

ADVERTISEMENT

Mind Your Posture

Slouching in bed to watch TV or movies, may be your way of relaxing but it’s doing more harm than good.

Binge-watching with your back and shoulders in wrong positions for long hours can be extremely damaging for your spine. It can lead to chronic symptoms and common problems like cervical spondylosis, back ache and stiffness, weak spinal muscles and headaches.
Dr Ishu Srivastava, Physiotherapist
Quick tip: Keep your back well-supported and upright while watching. Either sit on a chair with a good back support or sit upright on your bed with back rested on the head of the bed and both knees bent. Make sure your head is level with the screen, so that you don’t tilt it up or down to watch.
ADVERTISEMENT

Don’t Be a Sloth

We tend to sit in the same posture, whether good or bad, for unnaturally long hours while binge-watching. Scientific studies have shown that prolonged television viewing increases the risk of obesity and related diseases such as diabetes.

Staying put in one position for long hours results in slow blood circulation and stiffness which is very harmful. Inactivity also leads to weight gain and if people have a habit of eating junk while watching, it adds to the problem.
Dr Garima Myne, Physiotherapist
Quick tip: Take regular breaks while watching. Try and get up every 20 minutes or so, stretch yourself and then continue. Your neck, shoulders and legs will thank you. Also, don’t munch on junk while watching!
ADVERTISEMENT

You’ll Need Your Eyes to Watch – Rest Them

“You’ll go blind!” shouts every parent ever when kids watch TV for too long or sitting too close.

Looking at screens for too long affects our eyesight, makes the eyes either watery or dry and irritable. Laptop screens emit radiations which harm our eyes.

Quick Tip: Give your eyes a break. Voluntarily blink them and wash them to keep them from drying. Maintain adequate distance between your eyes and the screen. Also, watch in a well-lit room.
ADVERTISEMENT

Stop Losing Sleep Over Plot Lines

Don’t be like Frank Underwood here, love your sleep. Losing an episode a day is better than losing your sleep.

Mostly, we’re binge-watching at night after a tiring day at office or college. You start with one episode and before you know it, you’ve almost completed a season and it’s 4am. This adversely affects our body clock and sleep cycles leading to headaches and other related problems like diabetes and respiratory issues.

Quick Tip: Catch up on your sleep. Make a schedule to complete your favourite shows such that you’re not up till the wee hours hooked to your screen.
ADVERTISEMENT

Give Your Mind Some Rest

Excess of anything is bad. The same goes for watching TV. You may have felt drained and mentally tired after too many hours of watching shows or movies (I have).

Binge-watching has been linked to mental health problems like depression. And a recent study revealed that binge-watching is tied to feelings of loneliness and depression. It also said that those who binge-watch lacked the self-regulation to stop, suggesting that binge-watching may be an addictive behavior.

Quick Tip: Don’t overindulge. Keep a balance between your daily chores and watching these shows. Try spacing it out and avoid watching more than two episodes a day.

So, the next time you’re watching any TV show, resist the urge to click on “next episode”. Suspense can be fun, sometimes!

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

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Topics:  House of Cards   Mental Health   Fitness 

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