People who suffer from low moods are more likely to spend hours or days viewing multiple episodes of their favourite program online or on DVD. But by doing so they could neglect work, relationships and even their family, reports said.
Researchers from the University of Texas in Austin said that binge-watching should no longer be considered a “harmless addiction” and that people should think twice before settling in for a long session in front of the TV as it can affect your physical and mental health.
The researchers studied 316 people aged 18 to 29, asking how often they watched TV and how often they experienced negative emotions such as loneliness and depression.
The team’s full results, to be presented at the Conference of the International Communication Association in Puerto Rico in May, show that there is an urgent need to answer the problem. Lead researcher Yoon Hi Sung said that the findings should be a wake-up call to all societies.
“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,” she said. “Physical fatigue and problems such as obesity and other health problems are related to binge-watching.”
Raising concern, she said 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,” added Sung.