Take it from a bona fide couch potato…YES!
And it’s not just the lower back pain or crick in the neck from lying on the couch at an odd angle for hours on end. Nor is it just the headache and dry eyes from lack of sleep, because just one more episode! While these concerns are the constant crux of the regular couch potato, it is the long term affects the sitting for extended periods of time that has experts worried.
In today’s age of streaming television and movies on demand, it’s now easier than ever find an excuse to sit down, switch on, and tune out. But what’s the harm in a little binge watching? According to experts, a lot. Studies have shown that extended periods of sitting can increase our risk of diabetes, obesity, heart disease and even cancer. And it’s not just the couch that could be killing us. It’s the often very sedentary lifestyle we lead that’s causing us harm as well. We sit for up to hours some days in traffic, on public transport, at work, and then come home to the couch to sit some more.
While we don’t expect you to Flinstones your car to get your body moving, small changes can make a huge difference. Research has shown the standing up and moving around after 30 minutes of sitting can greatly reduce the risk of major health problems. So get up from your desk and grab a glass of water or a coffee, pace your office while fielding calls, even better, look into getting a standing desk.
As for binge watching, stand up and walk around the couch after each episode, or pause the movie and go to the bathroom or get a snack halfway though. Whatever you do, get off the couch!