Netflix and other binge-watching might be making you unhappy and unwell according to new study

 
Francesca Washtell
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Just binge-watched 15 hours of Tom and Jerry (Source: Getty)

Self-confessed binge-watcher? All those hours sat in front of House of Cards, Breaking Bad and Orange is the New Black could be making you ill, a new study has warned.

The addictive way we watch Netflix, box-sets, stacked series linked shows is being linked to poorer mental and physical health.

It is, according to researchers from the University of Toledo, a "growing public health concern".

The authors of the study do admit that while "negative health outcomes" are associated with excessive television viewing, the new, multi-hour viewing trend has yet to be studied in great detail.

Of the 408 respondents, 35 per cent self-identified as binge-watchers, while 77 per cent reported watching television for two hours or more on average per day without a break in the week before the survey.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, participants who described themselves as a binge-watcher rated higher on the TV addiction scale.

The survey was conducted in North America through an online crowdsourcing marketplace operated by Amazon.

Netflix has started releasing some TV shows, such as Breaking Bad spin off Better Call Saul, on a one-episode-per-week basis, but this is probably more to do with heightening audience demand than ensuring we're not stuck to our sofas for hours at a time.

The company's share price rocketed in January after its fourth quarter earnings beat analysts expectations and in the same month it grew expanded its services into 130 new countries.

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