BINGE-WATCH­ING: DOS & DON’TS

Here’s what to keep in mind be­fore you go for a marathon-view­ing of your favourite TV shows

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Lifestyle - Sid­dharth Chowd­hury

Do you stay up all night watch­ing TV shows? Do you make false prom­ises to your­self about the next episode be­ing the last one of the day? Do you post­pone meet­ing friends to com­plete a se­ries? Then, you are guilty of binge­watch­ing — the phe­nom­e­non where one watches mul­ti­ple episodes or seasons of a TV se­ries in one go. But, do you know how this habit can ad­versely af­fect your health? With new seasons of pop­u­lar TV se­ries be­gin­ning this sea­son, here are a few tips from ex­perts so that you don’t harm your health, while you’re on a TV-watch­ing spree.

Rest your eyes: Ever since we were young, we were told by our el­ders to not to watch TV for long hours as it af­fects our eye­sight. Dr Ken­shuk Mar­waha, opthal­mol­o­gist says, “Lap­top screens emit ra­di­a­tions that harm our eyes. Star­ing at a screen, with less blink­ing, for a long pe­riod re­sults in dry­ness and ir­ri­ta­tion.” The best so­lu­tion to these prob­lems is to give your eyes a break. “Vol­un­tar­ily blink your eyes and wash them to avoid dry­ness and tired­ness,” adds Dr Mar­waha. Also main­tain an ad­e­quate dis­tance be­tween your eyes and the lap­top or TV screens. Also watch shows in a well-lit room for eyes are more re­cep­tive to harm­ful ra­di­a­tions in a dark room.

Be pro­duc­tive: While binge-watch­ing, we tend to sit in the same pos­ture for long hours, which can be harm­ful for the body. Dr RK Sing­hal, physi­cian says, “Stay­ing put in one pos­ture re­sults in slow blood cir­cu­la­tion that may cause blood clot­ting. In­ac­tiv­ity also leads to weight gain and if binge watch­ers have the ten­dency to eat junk while watch­ing, it will also af­fect their health.” To avoid such health is­sues, one needs to be ac­tive. Dr Sing­hal says that go­ing out­side and ex­er­cis­ing also helps. “If one is un­able to go out­side, walk­ing around the house or do­ing house­hold chores, while watch­ing, also helps. Take breaks at reg­u­lar in­ter­vals and prac­tice stretching,” he adds.

Don’t tire your­self

men­tally: Watch­ing shows with­out breaks can af­fect your men­tal health. “Ex­cess of any­thing is bad; same goes with watch­ing TV. It re­stricts men­tal growth,” says Dr Man­ish Jain, psy­chi­a­trist. Binge-watch­ing is also linked with de­pres­sion. Dr Man­ish says, “Peo­ple re­sort to these shows to avoid so­cial­is­ing and to cut ties with oth­ers. When the show is over, they feel empty as there is noth­ing more to do.” Try rest­ing your mind and fo­cus on some­thing pro­duc­tive to avoid such harm. “Don’t over in­dulge. Keep a bal­ance be­tween your daily chores and watch­ing these shows. Try watch­ing one episode a day,” says Dr Man­ish.

Stop wast­ing your sleep:

Most binge watch­ers are ac­tive at night and they sac­ri­fice their sleep to com­plete their favourite shows. This af­fects their body clock and in­ad­e­quate sleep leads to headaches. Dr Sing­hal says, “Not sleep­ing on time can cause prob­lems rang­ing from di­a­betes to res­pi­ra­tory prob­lems. Also catch up on your sleep. Make a sched­ule where you don’t sac­ri­fice your sleep to binge.

PHOTO: ISTOCK

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