Forget about the Demogorgon, binge-watching Stranger Things might be worse for your health than a creature from “the upside down.” Recent reports looking at the health risks of Netflix found that streaming too much could lead to fatal heart disease. That news probably won’t make Netflix viewers feel very chill.
In July, a report from the Journal of the American Heart Association stated that those who watched more than four hours of TV each day were at a 50 percent greater risk of premature death from heart disease than those who spent less than half that time in front of a screen, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Of course, the blame isn’t all on Netflix, this means binge-watching your favorite show any streaming service for more than four hours could lead to higher instances of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.
This study looked at 3,592 African American individuals who enrolled in the Jackson Heart Study, a community‐based study in Jackson, Mississippi, according to the journal’s report. All were asked to self-report the time they spent watching TV and the house they spent sitting for their job to see the connection between the two sedentary or sitting behaviors and cardiovascular diseases.
The study’s findings suggest that minimizing TV watching could help reduce CVD and morality more than reducing occupational sedentary behavior. As to why that may be, the study’s author Jeanette Garcia, Ph.D., a professor of kinesiology and physical therapy at the University of Central Florida, had some thoughts.
“TV watching occurs at the end of the day where individuals may consume their biggest meal, and people may be completely sedentary with hours of uninterrupted sitting until they go to bed,” Garcia said in a press release. “Eating a large meal and then sitting hours at a time could be a very harmful combination.”
According to the press release, the researchers believe that excessive TV watching is “likely harmful for any racial or ethnic group,” and plan to continue studying the effects of sedentary behavior. So, no, this recent study doesn’t suggest quitting your office job, but it does make the case that cutting back on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime might do a body good.