Box set binges are bad for your health, according to Edinburgh study

Netflix and kill

An Edinburgh University study has found that extended periods of screen-watching can have serious health implications later in life.

The study, carried out by the University’s Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Research Centre,  found that even just two hours of TV watching a day can increase your chances of a variety of metabolic disorders, ranging from diabetes to heart disease.

According to Dr Ivy Shiue, who carried out the study, health risks vary depending on how long you spend watching TV everyday:

  • More than three hours: Expect a higher chance of developing digestive and blood clotting disorders.
  • More than six hours: Increase chances of cancer and bladder disease.
  • More than 11 hours: Greater risk of bowel disease.

11 hours in and still don’t know what to watch

Shiue argues that those who watch television for periods as long as this are highlighting their imbalanced lifestyle: “TV or screen viewing is impacting on our heart, metabolic and brain function, as shown with previous research evidence”.

However many would argue that Shiue’s study does not find any detrimental effects of watching TV, only those of living a slothful lifestyle.

As second-year Jason says: “Surely the issue isn’t Netflix but being lazy? Obviously there’s going to be consequences to sitting in bed watching 10 straight episodes of House of Cards. It’s not natural”.

While first-year Michael was keen to point out that: “there’s nothing wrong with watching a bit of TV as long as you get out and exercise as well.”

Thea Cunningham, the health information officer for Cancer Research UK highlighted that there has been no evidence to suggest that exposure to TV sets or computer screens is linked to cancer.