When I use my laptop I stand up, which amounts to several hours of standing each day. I began doing this a few years ago when I added up the number of hours I’d be sedentary if I didn’t.
And, of course, you burn a lot more calories standing than sitting.
Turns out standing up to watch the telly would help avoid the risks of heart disease and obesity from sitting too much.
I must try that too! Then again, maybe not.
Apparently, watching box sets for hours on end comes with a multitude of health risks because you’re sedentary the whole time.
As well as leading to weight gain, the lack of movement is a risk factor for Type 2 diabetes, blood clots in the legs and lungs, heart disease and stroke.
According to a recent study people who often sit down to watch TV have almost double the risk of fatal blood clots.
They may develop deep vein thrombosis, a clot in the legs, or a pulmonary embolism in which a clot travels to the lungs.
In-between each episode, experts recommend 30-minute breaks or doing small tasks such as putting the laundry on, as well as cutting back on late-night viewing.
Mindless snacking is particularly bad during binge-watching and easily leads to weight gain, Dr Sophia Tolliver of Ohio State University, US, warns.
If you binge-watch alone it’s worse, and the chances of heart disease and stroke are higher because of a lack of social connections or loneliness, Dr Tolliver said.
Sleep deprivation can be caused by binge-watching too close to bedtime because blue light emitted by screens can alter our hormones.
Clinical psychologist Dr Brad Lander warns sleep deprivation can lead to depression, memory loss, a lack of coordination and heart problems.
Experts have in the past warned that watching TV confuses the body into thinking it’s daytime, and delays the secretion of sleep hormone melatonin.
Ronald Chervin, a sleep neurologist and director of Michigan Medicine’s Sleep Disorders Centres, said he is seeing more patients who are waking in the middle of the night and then watching more TV.
A vicious circle.
He advises people to stop looking at screens for a few hours before bed and read a book instead.
What’s the solution? The experts say press pause every half an hour.
Make a cup of tea, walk the dog, empty the dishwasher. Do something else.