Press pause because binge-watching your favourite series is really bad for your health

Binge-watching is addictive in nature, but you already knew that. However, did you know that it can ruin your posture, wreck your sleep, and hamper blood circulation amongst other things?
side effects of binge watching
Being glued to your TV or smartphone just to finish yet another episode is bound to have health consequences. GIF courtesy: Yi Pan via Giphy
Nikita Bhardwaj Updated: 15 May 2021, 23:12 pm IST
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Dark circles, puffy eyes, always tired…. Do these things describe you? Then, your binge-watching habits are to blame.

According to a recent survey conducted on the behalf of Netflix (your partner in crime), 61% of digital streamers like us regularly engage in binge-watching. That’s a huge number! The worst part? We don’t even realise how and when it becomes an addiction for us!

Sonja Lyubomirsky, PhD, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside, says: “Blame a psychological phenomenon called hedonic adaptation, which is basically a fancy way of saying that we get used to new things”.

You see, content on web streaming platforms is new and thrilling. Series like Sacred Games, Stranger Things, Game of Thrones, and many others are very easy to get addicted to. But as you might be well aware, excess of everything is bad!

Here are some side effects of binge-watching
A recent study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association suggests that sitting for long hours increases your risk of health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer–even if you also exercise regularly. And there’s more to it.

1. Weight gain
Because what’s binge-watching without snacking?

2. Zero physical activity 
After all, when you are glued to your Netflix account the whole day, then there is zero scope of any physical activity.

3. Lack of oxygen in the blood
It’s a proven fact that sitting for a really long time at one place can hamper the flow of oxygen in the blood

4. Isolation from the real world
You start liking being isolated from the world, which–no points for guessing–can lead to depression and anxiety.

5. Back problems FTW!
Less activity and the same posture for hours is a great way to invite backache!

yoga poses for period pain
Instead of living on painkillers during backache try yoga. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

6. Your eyesight ain’t safe either!
Now, that’s a given! Blue light or electromagnetic radiation that is emitted from electronic devices like laptop, phone, and TV is harmful for your eye muscles.

7. Sleeplessness is another evil
If the urge to see one more episode is not enough to keep you up at night, then that damned blue light surely will. Studies suggest that blue light restricts melatonin production, a hormone that regulates our sleep cycle.

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Now that you know, quit while you’re ahead!
We know you like what you see but you have to draw a line somewhere! Here are some tips that will help you manage your obsession:

Cut it out: Don’t go for the entire season in one go but limit yourself to few episodes at a time.

Track your time: Decide on how much time you’ll spend watching that series and stick to it.

Balancing act: Compartmentalize your weekend. Meet your friends or go out with your fam on one day and catch up on your favorite web series on another. If that isn’t the path to a good life, then we don’t know what is!

Don’t turn off the lights: Constantly concentrating on a screen in the dark can be dangerous for your eyes. It stresses your eye muscles, leading to pain and redness. So avoid it.

Talk what you watch: Call a friend and discuss the episode that you just watched. This way take a break and socialize at the same time!

Stretch outAfter each episode, stretch your back and legs. While you’re at it, drag your ass to the kitchen and gulp some water as well for better hydration.

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About the Author

Six-pack abs are all that Nikita needs, along with her daily dose of green tea. At Health Shots, she produces videos, podcasts, stories, and other kick-ass content. ...Read More

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