We are all guilty of sitting down for a marathon night of binge-watching our favorite television show. It’s a relaxing feeling after a long work week. But can it really be that harmless? A study out of the University of Texas at Austin shows that these habits might be an indication of a deeper issue.
The study focused on more than 300 participants who were questioned on how often they watched TV; how often they had feelings of loneliness, depression and self-regulation deficiency; and finally on how often they binge-watched TV. The researchers found that the more lonely and depressed the study participants were, the more likely they were to binge-watch TV, using this activity to move away from negative feelings.
“Even though some people argue that binge-watching is a harmless addiction, findings from our study suggest that binge-watching should no longer be viewed this way,” said researcher Yoon Hi Sung. “Physical fatigue and problems such as obesity and other health problems are related to binge-watching and they are a cause for concern. When binge-watching becomes rampant, viewers may start to neglect their work and their relationships with others. Even though people know they should not, they have difficulty resisting the desire to watch episodes continuously.”
To help fight off feelings of depression and loneliness, try eating more mood-boosting foods, as described in a previously published article on HFR.