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Researchers Link Binge Watching With Depression, Anxiety

Researchers Link Binge Watching With Depression, Anxiety

Researchers at the University of Toledo have found a link between extended television “binge watching” and both depression and anxiety. Binge watching has become increasingly popular since Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) has begun making entire new seasons of hit shows like "House of Cards" and "Orange is the New Black" available all at once.

The researchers surveyed 408 North American television viewers and found that more than a third (35 percent) identified themselves as binge-watchers. In addition, 77 percent of those surveyed reported watching two or more uninterrupted hours of television within the past week.

Related Link: Does Netflix Stock Historically Get A "House Of Cards" Bump?

The survey also found a correlation between the amount of time spent binge watching and the self-reported anxiety, depression or stress levels of the participants. However, the authors were quick to point out that they discovered only correlation, not causation.

“We don’t know if depression, stress, and anxiety are caused by binge watching, or if it is the other way around,” the authors wrote. “In other words, people might binge-watch as a way to temporarily alleviate preexisting feelings of stress and anxiety.”

Too much TV has been linked in the past with a range of mental and physical problems, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and ADHD.

Disclosure: The author holds no position in the stocks mentioned.

Image Credit: Public Domain


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