BREAKING NEWS

Is binge watching TV shows bad for you? Doctor says yes!

Most people are guilty of sitting in front of the TV and binging or watching episode-after-episode of a favorite TV show, but can you imagine watching TV for 94 hours straight?

A New York man recently did just that. Alejandro “AJ” Fragoso’s 94-hour binge was set up and funded by multimedia software company CyberLink, and earned him the Guinness World Record for TV Binge Watching.

But the 25-year-old learned that non-stop binge-watching isn’t all fun and games.

“I learned that binge watching TV for abnormally long durations can be quite physically taxing,” Fragoso said in a statement.

So how bad is sitting in front of a TV or laptop for hour-after-hour?

Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in N.Y., gave Fragoso a pre-binge checkup and a post-checkup to see what effect a multi-hour binge has on the body.

He said that Fragoso had an elevated heart rate and noted that depriving the body of sleep can also result in neurological side-effects like acute hallucinations.

“If you think about the binge, you are sitting down sometimes for 20 hours and watching 15 episodes, you are doing a lot of damage to your body,” Glatter said.

Just like we’ve become aware of the adverse health effects associated with sitting all day at work, the same can be said of sitting down to binge, according to Glatter.

And it’s not great for your waistline either.

“Prolonged sitting tends to increase insulin levels, which is the hormone that promotes fat storage and weight gain,” he said.

He notes that being inactive for long periods of time also raises the risk of a slew of health concerns including metabolic syndrome, a group of conditions that increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Glatter said he’s had patients come into the emergency room with dizziness and symptoms that almost mirror vertigo from prolonged screen time.

Glatter said Fragoso was likely able to break the binge-watching record in part because of his Mediterranean diet, which helped keep his blood sugar stable.

If you have to binge, here’s what you can do to decrease the damage:

Take 10-15 minute stretching breaks each hour

Sit on an exercise ball and engage your core while watching TV or rotate standing and sitting

Look away from the screen often and focus on something else to lessen digital eye strain

Source Cowan: USA Today

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