6 Tips to Avoid the Health Risks of Lockdown Netflix Binges

Have you lost a weekend to binge watching since the pandemic started? I have! For the first time ever I have become one of the growing box set junkies. musicMagpie have surveyed the UK to reveal that the average person has watched 3 series since lockdown began and over half of the UK (51%) have increased the amount of TV and films they stream. 52% of us have also revisited a favourite old series.

Netflix, the UK’s top binge-watching platforms, found the on average it takes us a week to finish an entire season of a series which is a lot of time on the sofa. It’s not just the young people who are streaming – every age is binge watching. However, for the 55+, binge-watching was considered 3 episodes back to back, compared with younger generations who considered 4 or 5 episodes a binge. Whether its 3 hours or 5 hours plus on the sofa, that is a lot of laying around and an easy way to give into unhealthy habits. As you lie on the sofa it’s easy to click on another episode and open another bag of crisps, have another glass of wine or order a takeaway instead of cooking.

What TV Shows Are We Binging? 

Here is what we are watching:

  1. Sherlock – 55%
  2. Peaky Blinders – 53%
  3. Game of Thrones – 51%
  4. Line of Duty – 51%
  5. Killing Eve – 48%
  6. Breaking Bad – 48%
  7. The Walking Dead – 47%
  8. Stranger Things – 44%
  9. Chernobyl – 42%
  10. Homeland – 40%
  11. The Crown – 39%
  12. Suits – 37%
  13. Black Mirror – 36%
  14. Westworld – 35%
  15. Fleabag – 35%
  16. The Wire – 33%
  17. Ozark – 28%
  18. Top Boy – 26%
  19. Power – 26%
  20. Mind Hunter – 25%

So How Do You Stop Binge Watching Impacting Your Health

1. Get active between episodes

Rather than being a couch potato for hours, try to do something active between each episode or take a break every hour to do some housework, go for a walk or do some simple stretches front of the TV.

2. Buy healthy snacks

Snacking and binge watching go together, and night after night of processed snacks is not only addictive but it means we put on weight. So, swap the sweets and crisps for healthier options like salted popcorn, crudités, fruit, water, herbal teas and nuts.

3. Booze free days

Alcohol consumption tends to go up when you watch TV, as you share a bottle of wine and then the next. Why not limit this to the weekend or try out not alcoholic versions?

4. Screen-free time before sleep

These high intensity TV series fire up our minds and can have a negative impact on your quality of sleep. So, rather than switching off the TV and going straight to bed, try to factor in some downtime. Have a shower, bath, listen to relaxing music or read. This will give your mind time to switch off.

5. Change your routine

We are all creatures of habit, which makes it too easy to get in a TV routine every day. Try to plan your week so you have nights/days where you dont watch any TV.

6. Make it a special experience

Why not limit your binge watching to 1 or 2 nights a week and make it special. Make it something to look forward to with delicious healthy snacks. Limiting it also gives you time to do all those jobs you have been putting off and getting more active too.

Like everything in life, it is all about balance – so binge with balance is my new mantra. Now I am off to watch Line of Duty! What’s your favourite?


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