Earlier this year, we wrote about the ergonomics of binge-watching, offering a few tips for staying healthy while you catch up on your favorite shows. Now there is some new science out discussing the physical health effects of all that TV time. If you have read any of our previous posts about the dangers of sitting, the results of this new study won’t come as any surprise. As reported by Dr. Jennifer Landa, the 16-year study followed over 200,000 adults to assess the damage done by daily bingeing. The subjects, who were healthy at the start of the study, had a 47% increased risk of early death as a result of watching seven or more hours of daily TV.
You are probably thinking that seven hours of TV every day is a heck of a lot, and that your own viewing habits don’t come close. I don’t think I could even fit seven hours of TV into a typical work day. But I have been known to come home from work and watch two or three episodes of The Leftovers or The Man in the High Castle, or a number of other great shows that are instantly available to me through various streaming services. And then there are the weekends, when, if I’m being honest, I have now and then stayed in my pajamas for at least a full day, relishing the opportunity to hate-watch the second season of True Detective and just generally enjoying my sheer laziness. As enjoyable as these binge sessions are, they are just not good for our health. In fact, if you average four hours of TV watching each day, your risk of early death via chronic disease is increased by 15%.
Of course, these statistics assume that you’re sitting or lying on the couch largely motionless during your TV watching. If you watch TV while walking on a treadmill, or stand up regularly, or do some physical household chores, that movement reduces your risk of chronic disease brought about by sitting. If you do stay on the couch, though, and work a standard office job where you sit all day, those hours of sitting really add up.
The simple solution is to move around more. You don’t have to give up your favorite shows, but you do have to give up your all-day sitting. If you prefer to relax at home and stay on the couch during Fargo, you can offset that sitting time by using a height-adjustable desk or a treadmill desk during the day at work. Standing lowers blood sugar levels and triglycerides, burns 50 calories per hour, and improves energy and focus. Light walking takes all these benefits to the next level, with a greater reduction in blood sugar and triglycerides, improved creativity, reduced risk of depression, and reduced risk of chronic illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
If you’re not quite ready to take the plunge and change your desk set-up, you can improve your health by getting up for at least 15 minutes every hour at work, and move around more at home instead of staying on the couch. When you decide you’d like to go for a height-adjustable desk, give us a call, email, or chat with us to go over your options. We’re here to help you be healthier at work!
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