The Scary Health Side Effects of Binge-Watching Your Favorite Shows

Before you start binge-watching a new show| you have to check out this graphic from Details that shows the effects of your TV marathons.

On Your Spine

The problem: Sitting curves your spine into a C-shape| and keeping it that way too long can cause cramped and aching muscles and smushed organs.

The solution: Consider a recliner. It’ll let your back keep the natural| better-for-you S-shape it has when you’re standing| says Galen Cranz| a posture expert and professor at the University of California Berkeley.

On Your Quads

The problem: You get soft. People who say they watch TV “very often” are 40 percent more likely than non-TV watchers to exercise less than one hour a week| according to a six-year study of more than 15|000 adults.

The solution: Use Game of Thrones (or| hell| The Bachelor) as motivation. Seeing someone fit on screen makes you more likely to want your body to look like his| says research from Boise State in Idaho.

On Your Gut

The problem: Weight gain. A six-year U.S. study found that for every two hours of TV you watch a day| you’re 23 percent more likely to become obese (and 14 percent more likely to develop diabetes).

The solution: Avoid the Food Network. Studies show¡ªnot shockingly¡ªthat| say| hate-watching Guy Fieri makes you want to stuff your face| too.

On Your Brain

The problem: You’re a zombie (and not the badass Walking Dead kind). Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital recently found that a typical binge in front of fluorescent light (about four hours) before bed results in a harder time falling asleep| less REM sleep| and grogginess the next day| even after clocking eight hours. The culprit: The “blue light” TVs emit inhibits the release of melatonin| a hormone that helps you knock off.

The solution: Limit your viewing to three hours after work. Daytime bingeing won’t affect your sleep cycle.

On Your Lungs

The problem: Sitting shrinks your lung capacity by a third| so you get less oxygen| which causes a decrease in mental focus the second your ass hits the couch.

The solution: Sit in a chair with a pillow behind your lower back¡ªa position that helps open your lungs.

On Your Heart

The problem: Your ticker will stop beating sooner. An Australian study of national health records found that| on average| every single hour of TV watching after age 25 reduces life expectancy by close to 22 minutes.

The solution: Researchers have discovered little mortality risk for people who watch less than an hour a day. Pick a show that’s a real mind-fuck (like Black Mirror)| so you’re more likely to need time between episodes.

¡ª Arianne Cohen

Check out more great stories from Details:

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