1 BREAKING BAD HABITS
If hitting “play next” feels as addictive as Walt’s products, you’re not alone. Compulsive viewing lights up the same area of your brain as drugs and, over time, is linked to depression and poor impulse control in other areas of life, reports the University of Texas at Austin. Psychologist Dr Aric Sigman advises watching with friends and agreeing a time limit. It’ll stop your brain reverting to screensaver mode tomorrow.
2 PEAKY BLINDED
A marathon session exhausts your tired eyes. Screen time causes your blink rate to drop dramatically, which leads to dryness and even blurred vision. Reboot your eyeballs between each episode by spending 20 seconds looking at something six metres away. If you’re already suffering, don’t be a Daredevil about it. Switch off and lie with a warm, damp towel over your eyes.
3 GAIN OF THRONES
By the fourth HBO title screen (“aaaah”) your body is racking up worrying ratings. Men who watch TV for four or more hours a day have a 125 per cent higher risk of heart disease, a UCL study found, while slumping on the sofa immediately after eating spikes blood sugar, triggering fat gain. A 40-minute post-meal walk will nullify this effect, as will adding some turmeric and chilli to your TV dinner.
4 TRUE CORRECTIVE
It’s not hard to detect the main victim of inertia. Studies by the United Chiropractic Association linked a hunched sitting posture to constricted breathing and heart disease. As your episode loads, hit the floor for a Superman stretch: lying facedown, tense your glutes and lift your chest, legs and arms with thumbs pointing up. Do three reps of 10 seconds, and limit tension to the dramatic kind.
5 WAKING DEAD
After-dark sessions increase blood pressure and infect your sleep cycle, so you’ll feel restless even on nights when you don’t indulge. Among the host of health issues is a 25 per cent drop in sperm count, reports the University of Southern Denmark. Your antidote: pick up a book before lights out. It reduces sleep-disrupting BP spikes, says Sigman. You’ll be less of a zombie in the morning.