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Knowing This About ‘binging’ Will Save You 6+ Hours Per Day

Knowing This About ‘binging’ Will Save You 6+ Hours Per Day

Did you know that more than 3,61,000 people watched all 9 episodes of the 2nd season of  “Stranger Things” right on the first day of its release. Well, according to a Netflix survey, approximately 61 percent of streamers engage in binge watching, with an average viewing of 2 to 6 episodes at a stretch. Another survey also by Netflix reports that a total of 73% of people admitted that they feel immensely happy when they are binge watching their favorite show. 

You’d agree, streaming platforms have phenomenally transformed the way shows, movies and documentaries were watched some years back. With unlimited access to limitless content and commercial-free viewing, watching anything at any time during the day or night has become easier than ever. Long months of being locked down indoors has only increased the number of people indulging in binge watching by many folds.

Gone are the days of savouring week long doses of Monday to Friday serials. With the mushrooming of several streaming OTT platforms, most of us happily devour our favourite web series or that much-hyped TV show in a single sitting.  If you too have spent an entire weekend binging on that much-awaited sequel of a series or finally got a chance to get hooked on that highly acclaimed drama, welcome to the club! But before you revel in another binge session, Read on! Here are a few reasons you should rethink your binging pattern and watch out for a  few health concerns associated with long hours of binging!

Binge Watching May Be Addictive!
Did you know binging on your favorite series could produce a “high?” That’s right, just as you engage in an activity that you enjoy, your brain produces a chemical promoting feelings of excitement, happiness and immediate gratification. The release of the chemical dopamine makes you not only feel good but helps you reach the same kind of “high” that addictive substances cause. Since the feeling of heightened pleasure helps you stay cheerful, the brain craves for more and more and that’s how you develop the marathon viewing pattern. However pleasurable it may seem, this addiction can adversely affect certain aspects in our lives including our relationships, commitments and even our goals. The struggle to keep seeking the same degree of satisfaction while neglecting daily errands may further add to emotional issues like increased irritability, exhaustion and sleeplessness.

Binging Meddles With Your Sleep!
As much as watching back-to-back episodes in a single sitting may excite the brain, it surely interferes with our sleep patterns and eventually our ability to sleep well. Squeezing in even that one short episode late at night leaves us fatigued and drained the following day. Since the brain is constantly engaged in the pleasure seeking rut, it often remains stimulated and doesn’t turn off for you to enjoy your restorative dose of sound sleep.

Long Hours of Screen Time Increase Chances of Isolation
While watching something at the end of a long day at work seems like a perfect plan to wind down, it brings only temporary relief from the daily din. What it surely does is create a disconnect from other humans especially if you binge all by yourself retreating to your comfort zone and zone out for long hours at a stretch. 

Heightened Depression and Anxiety
As a result of long hours of isolation that comes with binging, people experience increased instances of guilt, anxiety and depression. 

Backaches and Muscular Issues
Binging for long is often carried out curling up in bed or couches where maintaining a good posture may not seem like a top priority. Just as long hours of sitting at a desk leads to an ailing back, movie marathons too cause poor posture that may weaken the back and the spine.

Lack of Oxygen Regulation
Being indoors and sitting or lounging for long periods of time at a stretch are known to reduce the lung capacity and shrink oxygen regulation by nearly a third.

Reduced Physical Activity
Choosing to return to binging over a walk down the street or an energetic home workout session adds to our sedentary lifestyle. This reduced physical activity further increases our risk for heart diseases and other lifestyle related ailments.

Bulging Waistline
Binge eating and binge watching are closely associated and add to the unhealthy disease-inducing rut. Mindless snacking on junk furthers changes of a bigger waistline, obesity and obesity-related diseases.

While all these negative effects can easily be noticed just within  2 weeks of binging, managing the same with some restraint not only helps double the amount of pleasure without being guilty, lethargic or unhealthy but also saves us oodles of time. A good way to cope with binging is identifying the pattern at the get go and limiting the number of episodes to a maximum of two at a given period of time. Additionally, keeping the light on during the screen time and incorporating exercises and healthier snacking alternatives can all neutralize the harmful effects of binge watching and make streaming truly enjoyable!  

By: Anubha Hatwal | on 2020-08-26

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