Researchers at the University of Toledo have found that binge-watching television is linked with higher levels of depression, anxiety and stress.
For the duration of the study, participants were asked to make a note of how much television they watched each night and how they felt afterwards. Just under 80% admitted to watching two or more hours of television per night and after spending a couple of hours in front of the box, the subjects reported lower mood, anxiety and stress.
Previous studies have also highlighted the negative effects of binge-watching television with other research linking it to increased loneliness and poorer self-control. Believe it or not, our favourite night-time activity has even been linked to diabetes as well.
Earlier this year it was revealed that every hour we spend sitting in front of the television increases our risk of developing diabetes by 3.4%. That means that those lazy day binges could increase your risk by a whopping 30%.
Why exactly is binge-watching our favourite show such a bad thing however? Firstly, lounging around slows circulation and metabolism which leaves us feeling sluggish and could explain why we end up feeling a bit down afterwards.
A lot of people also watch television to forget the troubles of the day. Like any addictive behaviour used to forget problems (such as using drugs and alcohol), you almost always feel worse later. A good way to overcome this is to use TV as a reward for confronting and dealing with an issue rather than using it to put off or completely avoid doing something.
If you think that you or someone you know could be suffering with anxiety or depression, please feel free to visit our Depression and Anxiety Treatment Programmes Page for more information about the signs, symptoms and treatments that are available.