I’m writing this blog with a pinch of salt because recently, I’ve been binge-watching as well. While stuck in this trap, I realized that this is something serious and needs to be addressed. Binge-watching may not be a new concept but it is quickly becoming the new normal. Thanks to the online streaming boom, you no longer need to watch a single episode with multiple commercial breaks and a cliff-hanger that keeps you biting your nails for another week.
Imagine having an entire series at your fingertips minus the ads. Now imagine what this much entertainment might be doing to you. We all remember Uncle Ben’s quote from Spiderman, “With great power comes great responsibility.” If you’re not responsible enough with your time, can you imagine what binging can do to your personal and professional health?
How Binge-Watching Affects Your Health
- Kills Time: The humour or suspense in the story will make you want to spend hours watching episode after episode without even realizing. Binge-watching may result in slipping grades, being late to work or class and most of all, not being active.
- Hello Heath Risks: Sitting for long stretches of time increases your risk of health issues (including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer), even if you also exercise regularly. If you must binge, make it healthier by standing, stretching, and taking mini-breaks for physical activity.
- Addiction: While binge-viewing can be fun and feel satisfying, there’s always the danger of becoming too obsessed. Behaviour also becomes addictive when it begins to negatively affect other aspects of your life. For instance, if you neglect other activities or responsibilities to binge.
- Antisocial Alert: Binge watching tends to be a pretty isolating activity. You’re taking time away from other essential things in life like hanging out with friends or working.
- Binge Watching = Binge Eating: While watching an entire season of a show that caught your eye, you often tend to munch on a bag of chips, bowl of popcorn or multiple chocolate bars at the same time with an accompaniment of a soft drink or two. This happens due to mindless eating which ultimately leads to weight gain and health issues.
Is There a Way to Stay Healthy?
If you must binge, then here are a few tips that will help you be more mindful and make healthy choices consciously.
- If you binge, make it healthy by standing, stretching, and taking mini-breaks for physical activity.
- Try having breaks between episodes and not snacking while you watch. This would avoid mindless eating, and thus, avoid weight gain.
- Prefer watching with family & friends. Chatting with fellow fans about the show can also make your binge habit healthier since it pulls you away from the main screen and allows you to reflect on what you’ve just watched.
- Use Time Management as a tool to avoid wastage of time. Prefer setting a particular time slot for your favourite series in your daily routine.
However, Binge Watching is incomplete without Binge Eating. The only option left here is to choose healthier alternatives such as baked kale chips, simple roasted chickpeas, apple chips, salt and vinegar Zucchini chips, nuts and seeds mix, etc.