Many people across the world watch several episodes of a television show in one sitting, a behavior that is commonly referred to as binge-watching. Although an enjoyable pastime, binge-watching can negatively impact viewer’s health.
Some possible effects on viewer’s health include increased risk of diabetes, depression and damage to eyes and skin.
Prolonged periods of sitting can cause diabetes.
When marathon watching TV shows, viewers find themselves in sedentary positions for prolonged periods of time.
The increased time sitting means people are more likely to get diabetes, according to the Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group.
“In a study of people at higher risk of developing diabetes, researchers say that every hour spent sitting can increase the risk of developing the metabolic disorder by 3.4%. For a day-long binge, that could be as much as a 30% higher risk,” according to a TIME article.
The research group says the solution is to not to get more exercise, but to sit less. Even if binge-watchers get exercise, they are still more susceptible to diabetes due to extended sitting.
There may be a connection between binge-watching and depression.
Early research shows that if viewers already experience depression, they will binge-watch more television and not be able to control depressed feelings.
According to an NPR article, there is a connection between lonely feelings and binge-watching.
“They [frequent binge-watchers] were more likely than the non-binge viewers to admit behaviors associated with depression, lack of self-regulation or loneliness,” according to NPR.
However, the research is just exploratory and not conclusive. The article says also though there is a connection between binge-watching and depression, it’s not definitive.
Blue light from mobile devices can damage your eyes and skin.
Binge-watching is not performed on traditional TV. It’s often done on phones, iPads or laptops. The blue light from mobile devices can have negative impacts your eyes and skin.
HEVs or high energy wavelengths emitted from these devices can damage your retina, causing “dry, irritated, fatigued,” effects on your eyes, according to an article on Vulture.
Additionally, if the device is close to your skin, HEVs can cause sagging and wrinkling.
Ways to reduce risks of binge-watching on eyes and skin:
- 20-20-20 technique – look away from the screen at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds, every 20 minutes of viewing
- Turn on “Night Shift” to lower blue waves
- Dim the brightness on your screen
- Don’t hold the mobile device close to your face