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Could binge-watching put you at risk for inflammatory diseases?


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Photo: Stocksy/BonninStudio

After a long day of work, plopping down in front of the TV (or your laptop) to binge-watch some of your favorite shows sounds like the ultimate way to end the day. But the more hours you log, the more you put your health at risk.

In the past, watching too much Netflix has been shown to change the way you eat for the worst as well as cause sleep problems, and now those excess hours on the couch might also increase your risk of dying from inflammatory diseases, like diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

Those who watched TV between two to four hours a day had a 54 percent higher risk of an inflammatory-related death, the study showed.

In an Australian study, researchers looked at the health habits of 8,900 adults over a 12-year period, breaking them up into three groups: those who watched less than two hours of TV a day, those who watched two to four hours a day, and those who watched more than four hours a day.

They found those who watched TV between two to four hours a day had a 54 percent higher risk of an inflammatory-related death, and those who watched more than four hours a day had double the risk of dying than those who watched for two hours. And in general, there was a 12 percent increased risk for every extra hour of watching TV. Yikes.

So, what’s so bad about watching TV? According to lead study author Megan Grace, PhD, more research is needed to find out exactly why viewing time is correlated with inflammation, the findings build on growing evidence about the health risks linked to sedentary activities.

“[This research] is consistent with the hypothesis that high TV viewing may be associated with a chronic inflammatory state,” said the study authors.

Spending some time watching Netflix is great for the soul once in a while, but instead of sitting on the couch all night, maybe take your TV time to the gym. Because what’s better than getting in a workout and watching 30 Rock while you do it?

Your partner’s sleep habits could also be triggering inflammation—here’s how. And here are the small tweaks Jessica Alba uses to keep it under control.