April 21, 2016

Breaking Good: TV Binge-Watching and Your Health

Shutterstock TV RemoteHooked on watching The Walking Dead or Portlandia by the season? Or perhaps you plan to wait until the entire season of Game of Thrones becomes available, instead of watching in real-time each week?

According to research released at the American Public Health Association’s annual meeting in November 2015, binge-watching is “significantly associated with TV addiction and other negative mental health effects.” In a survey of 400 adults who consider themselves TV binge watchers, “watching significantly more than two hours per day,” they were more likely to experience “some negative mental health effects, including higher levels of depression, anxiety and sleep disturbances.”

Try these simple tricks for reducing TV-watching marathons:

– Don’t watch an episode to the end, so you resist continuing to the next one.

– Disable the “auto-play” feature.

– Go for a walk, preferably with someone else, between episodes.

– Set your TV’s timer to cut off.