Don’t Binge Watch your Summer Away

Binge-Watching is bad for your health


In recent years streaming services have become more and more common. In fact, there was a massive increase in demand since the pandemic. As a result of these streaming services the “binge-watching” culture was created. 

Binge-watching is watching two or more episodes of a tv series, however, many viewers will stream entire seasons one right after the other for the entire day or night.  The majority of binge watchers are young people, however, binge watching has no age limit. 

 “73% of Americans admit to binge-watching, with the average binge lasting three hours and eight minutes” as specified by Britannica. 

However, these services cause a problem; binge-watching tv. Binge-watching is watching two or more episodes of a tv series. Binge-watching tv is  bad for your mental and physical health. 

To elaborate binge-watching creates chemical changes in your brain. Bing-watching releases dopamine which makes us feel good. It means craving more episodes that produce more dopamine and watching a show can be a coping mechanism.

According to Better by Today “When binge watching your favorite show, your brain is continually producing dopamine, and your body experiences a drug-like high.” 

Plus, binge watching can create mental health concerns. Binge-watching is associated with increased depression, loneliness, anxiety, stress, and a myriad of other issues. 

 Carla Schnitzlein, DO, a psychiatrist and medical director of Natchaug Hospital said,  “It provides a sense of escapism,” she said. “But it can become an unhealthy coping skill.”

Additionally, binge-watching is associated with physical ailments. These problems can be a lack of physical activity which can lead to blood clots and a deterioration of cardiovascular health. Lack of sleep, poor diet, and other risks are also associated with this type of behavior. 

Poor posture while watching TV can cause your spine to be curved or weak, leading to back pain and musculoskeletal issues. Research has shown that respiratory function is greatly decreased among healthy young men sitting in a slumped position compared with healthy young men sitting with proper posture,” stated by Northwestern Medicine. 

Sleeping suffers among binge watchers. People tend to binge watch into the night, which leads to insomnia, and fatigue.  Sleep is a necessity for human, it plays a vital role in mental and physical health, not to mention the quality of your life. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), sleep is necessary for proper brain function, maintaining physical health, and promoting healthy growth and development in children and teens. Yet viewers continue to stream despite fatigue.

The Foundry Treatment Center agreed, “At least one study has found that people who binge-watch more have more insomnia and poorer quality sleep… This affects both your mental and physical health. Too much sitting–and snacking–increases your risk of obesity and related conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.  Recent research has found that obesity significantly increases your risk of depression and vice versa. ”

With the summer fast approaching, try not to fall into the binge watching trap.  Try to set a limit for each day,. For example, make a rule that you will only watch 2 episodes before you press play. Better yet ask friends to join you, so that you can socialize and talk about what is going on. Snack on healthy foods.

It is ok to binge watch once and a while, but don’t let this summer pass you by.

Chart: Young Adults Keep Pressing Play | Statista