Let’s be honest; the majority of us are serial binge-watchers thanks to the glorious invention that is Netflix. We all have a series we practically love more than our own children and family. We sacrifice real human contact for the sake of a tablet – it doesn’t talk back, and it feeds your House of Cards addiction. But, have you ever wondered how all those mindless hours glued to a screen might be affecting your health? I’ve been too glued to Twin Peaks to even consider reality if I’m honest, so luckily, the crowd over at Science of Us have done all the worrying and wondering instead.
At first, binge-watching doesn’t seem half bad. There’s that dry eye anyone who sits in front of a screen for a living inevitably experiences, but that tends to be short term; it goes away once you peel your eyes away from the computer. It’s more a cause of concern for kids because those spend a lot of time indoors with only a TV for company are prone to ‘myopia’ or nearsightedness.
But then it can gradually get worse and affect you in other ways — depending on how much of a binge-watcher you are. Watching TV in bed is known to cause havoc in terms of your sleep cycle, which is linked to your concentration, mood, and overall health problems like diabetes or heart health. And in men, watching more than 20 hours of TV a week might even lower sperm count, according to the video, or even shorten someone’s overall lifespan.
So, is willing your time away at the mercy of Netflix’s red-tinted logo worth your general wellness and inevitable social anxiety?
It depends on how bad you have it for those boxsets, but if you’ve not seen a human in over two weeks (no, the ones on screen don’t quite count), it might be time to start stepping away from the screen…