The Grapevine

How Binge Watching Television Affects Your Eyes, Weight, And Even Cancer Risk

Television has become a central part of our culture, if not our lives, but can watching too many shows actually be bad for your health? Recently, the team at ASAPScience delved into this important question. 

The most noticeable effects of watching too much television may be to our eyes. According to ASAPScience, the average human blinks about 18 times per minute, but when looking at a screen, this rate greatly decreases. As a result, this can cause our eyes to become tired and strained. Thankfully, these effects won’t last forever, but if you never give your eyes a rest from the screen the effects could persist.

Read: Too Much Sitting And Watching TV Increases Your Risk Of Certain Cancers: Why Sitting Is The New Smoking

Watching too much television may be especially bad for children, as research has shown a link between the hours a child spends in front of the television, and heightened risk for childhood obesity. According to a 2015 study, children who watch one to two hours of TV a day, compared to those who watch less, are 50 to 60 percent more likely to be overweight and 58 to 73 percent more likely to be obese at the start of kindergarten and first grade. This finding was based on a information from 11,113 kindergarteners and their parents from 2011-2012 school year.

Television doesn’t just mess with children's weight, it can also interfere with their eye health. For example, according to ASAPScience, children who spend more time inside in front of the television are more likely to develop myopia, or nearsightedness.

 

Overall, research shows that people who watch less television are generally more healthy than people who spend a lot of time in front of the tube. In fact, ASAPScience reported that even non-physical activities, such as reading or playing a board game, require more energy and therefore burn more calories than just watching TV. In addition, watching a lot of TV has also been linked to increased risk for countless health problems, ranging from diabetes to decreased fertility, to even some forms of cancer. For example, one study found that each two-hour session of watching television increased the risk for colon cancer by eight percent, the risk of endometrial cancer by 10 percent, and risk of lung cancer by six percent.

And if that’s still not enough to get you out from in front of the television, other research has also shown that watching too much TV too close to your bedtime could mess with your sleep quality, which in turn affects your overall health, ASAPScience reported.

Of course, these studies did not prove that television directly caused these health problems, but binge watching your favorite shows isn't the most healthy lifestyle choice. Still, that doesn't mean you have to give it up completely. Like all good things in life, TV is best to be used in moderation.

See Also:

Childhood Obesity Risk Rises Up To 60% When Kids Watch 1 Hour Of TV

Watching Too Much TV Is Slowly Killing Us, But Occasionally Watching Your Favorite Show Is Actually Healthy

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