Sedentary lifestyles have long been known to be bad for health. But now, scientists say binge-watching your favourite shows can have detrimental effects too!
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According to the World Health Organisation, 60 to 85 per cent of people worldwide lead sedentary lifestyles. And with a slew of streaming platforms that bring the latest entertainment straight to our television sets, the problem is worsening.
A May 2022 study by UK’s Cambridge University, published in the journal BMC Medicine, found that sedentary lifestyles involving binge-watching hours of TV can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. The most common symptoms that arise are chest pain and breathlessness, both of which, increase the risk for heart attacks and strokes.
The study, which involved 373,026 people, and followed up on their lifestyles for 13 years, found that more than one in 10 cases of coronary heart disease could be prevented if people watched less than an hour of TV a day.
But if streaming shows is too hard to resist, then researchers say the next best thing is to stop snacking when watching TV. Since watching TV is a prolonged leisure activity, viewers tend to eat something while watching – and unfortunately, that something is likely to be processed food with high salt or sugar content. The study also found that people who use a computer, rather than TV, to binge-watch shows, are more likely to break up their activity with stretching or some kind of physical movement.