Binge-Watching – Is It Bad For You?


Binge-Watching – Can It Be Bad For You?

Hello All!!!

Do you binge-watch? I know many people who indulge in binge-watching! One of my friends in the US watches all the episodes of some famous serials in a matter of 2 days i.e. over the weekend. Some 40 episodes in 2 days flat? Is it right, I wonder! I can’t watch more than a 3 hour movie in one go! 😛 This habit is getting common in India thanks to the internet. Just go to youtube and watch all the episodes of your favourite serial!

Do you know what happens when the viewers exhaust all the episodes of the serial? They end up with feeling either sad or anxious. Some binge-watchers have reported to be feeling depressed and empty after she viewed all her favourite shows.

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Now the point is whether these experiences are of those few people who have watched too much of TV and need some fresh air or can binge watching actually be bad for your health and well being? The research done in this dimension has been limited. So, studies on binge watching from a health perspective are being done with full zeal!

In America, on an average a person spends 2 hours and 49 minutes per day watching TV and it takes up 50% of their daily leisure activities. This scenario is rapidly changing and binge watching has become a recent phenomenon.

With several on-demand steaming services it has now become easier to watch full TV series at one go. Do you know that Collins dictionary has even declared “binge-watch” as the word of the year 2015?

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Till date the research and surveys regarding binge-watching have been conducted by private companies and firms. According to one survey, 73% of the respondents felt that binge-watching is a socially acceptable behaviour. A similar survey conducted more recently showed that more number of people have become interested in binge watching. In this survey 92% of the people reported that they had indulged into binge-watching at some point of time.

Watching excess of TV has been linked to numerous health problems. Scientific studies show that watching TV for long can increase the risk of obesity and related diseases like diabetes. There has also been a link to mental health problems like depression. A recent study revealed that binge-watching is associated with feelings of being lonely and depressed. It has also been found that those who binge-watch lack the self-control needed to stop. Binge-watcing may actually be an addictive behaviour.

In one more study, the respondents defined binge-watching as 2 to 5 hrs of consecutive video watching in a day. 35% of the people said that they binge-watch TV. The self-identified binge watchers were more likely to report higher anxiety, stress and depression. A relationship between binge watching, average TV viewing time and mental health status can be established. This study is just a correlation. It is not known whether depression, anxiety and stress are caused due to binge-watching or it is the other way around. In a nutshell, people might be binge-watching to bring temporary relief to stress and anxiety.

There is more need of research in relation to the health effects of binge-watching. If you have the habit of binge-watching, it would be advisable to put an end to it.

Hope you found this post on binge-watching useful!

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