If you love watching an entire season of television in one popcorn-fueled frenzy, I have some bad news: It could kill you.
According to a Japanese study “Watching Television and Risk of Mortality From Pulmonary Embolism Among Japanese Men and Women” led by Toru Shirakawa, over 86,000 people in Japan between the ages of 40–79 were followed for an average of nineteen years. The participants were separated into three categories: those who watched television less than 2.5 hours a day, between 2.5 and 4.9 hours a day, and over five hours a day.
To no one’s surprise but to everyone’s dismay, “prolonged television watching is a substantial risk factor for mortality from pulmonary embolism.” Mortality. That’s a pretty hefty price to pay for that lost weekend binge-watching Jessica Jones.
As MedPageToday writes about the study, if you watch television more than five hours a day, you can expect to die from a pulmonary embolism at a rate of 2.5 times higher than those who actually get off the sofa. And for each additional two hours per day in front of the television, you can take on another 40% increase in risk.
The study notes, “The potential mechanism may be venous stasis caused by prolonged sitting,” which means that sitting in front of your computer has the same risks associated with watching television. So if you’re thinking about replacing your Netflix account with a videogame, think again.
But this doesn’t have to mean digital gluttony is off the table.
You can prevent embolisms with simple activity, says the UK’s National Health Service. The American Heart Association suggests that viewers spend their TV-watching hours stretching or even riding on a stationary bike.
I say you can do better than that. Check out these rejiggered drinking games that have you doing crunches instead of shots. For example, if someone in Harry Potter is awarded points, you have to do ten squats.
Do enough of these, and you’ll come out of that binge-watching session even more physically fit than when you started. Then perhaps you’ll be ready to take on both Jessica Jones and Jessica Jones.
Featured Image Credit:Pixabay