On March 23, 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced measures that placed the UK in a state of lockdown to slow the rate of COVID-19 infection. As a result, individuals may only leave their place of residence to buy food, medicine and essential household supplies.
One of the things people do to pass the time is to watch TV shows. Unfortunately, some binge-watch their favourite series in an effort to take their mind off the lockdown.
If you’re planning on watching multiple episodes of ‘Sherlock’, ‘Bodyguard’ and other great shows non-stop, think twice. Binge-watching may be bad for your health.
Develops Eye Problems
Indulging in your preferred TV series for countless hours may damage your eyes, especially if you don’t go on a much-needed break. You may experience asthenopia or eye strain, which causes headaches and decreases your ability to focus.
On top of that, you may suffer from eye irritation, dryness and redness, as your eyes are blinking when you’re watching non-stop. If binge-watching gravely damages your eyesight, you may have to wear special aids for visually impaired individuals to restore your field of vision.
Ruins Your Sleep
The blue light emitted by screens decreases the levels of melatonin, a hormone responsible for helping you get a good night’s rest. When you watch too many episodes on your TV, computer monitor or mobile device, you make sleep difficult for your body.
The lack of sleep can be dangerous for your body. According to the National Health Service (NHS), regular poor sleep increases your risk of serious health problems, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity.
Increases Your Risk of Premature Death
Binge-viewing usually involves curling up on your sofa and watching TV shows unceasingly. Lounging on the couch or sitting for long periods isn’t just terrible for your back and posture. According to a study published in the academic medical journal Annals of Internal Medicine, excessive sitting increases your risk of an early death.
Leads to Addiction
Although binge-watching can feel rewarding and fun, you may become too obsessed with this activity. Addiction involves doing something more than what you originally intended. If you planned to watch, for instance, two episodes of ‘Black Mirror’ but ended up watching five, you could be overdoing it.
Binge-viewing may also become addictive when it starts to affect other areas of your life. A good example would be neglecting to do other essential tasks, such as cleaning the house and getting work done for a week, in favour of binge-watching.
Takes a Toll on Your Real-Life Relationships
Binge-watching is an isolating activity. A study done by MarketCast, a research-based entertainment consultancy firm, found 56 per cent of binge viewers prefer to watch by themselves.
Binge-viewing becomes problematic when you substitute this activity for human companionship. Instead of connecting with the people you love, you connect with your selected shows on TV. This can have consequences, especially when you reach a point where you actively choose binge-watching over spending quality time with your family and friends.
Watching TV shows isn’t the only thing you can do while the country’s on lockdown. You can, for instance, balance TV-viewing with other worthwhile activities, such as reading a book, catching up with your friends online and learning a new hobby.