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During the COVID-19 pandemic, when social distancing became a thing and so many businesses were closed, it became very difficult for people to be as active as they were. Because of this, people all over the world stayed home and engaged more in passive activities, like binge-watching TV and playing video games.

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But staying active and living a healthy lifestyle is very important, and one sure way to do this is to cut back on the time we spend watching TV. Truly, cutting back on hours per day may help us stay healthy. This is because the more a person watches television, the less they are moving their bodies. Hence, physical movement in health is highly recommended. Everyone needs a break every once in a while from TV, even those whose only way to relax and unwind is by watching TV.

Television viewing is no longer something done solely on TV sets in living rooms. Nowadays, we do it using our computers, tablets, and our phones. This big shift in our society could have lasting effects on our general well-being.

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Binge-watching TV can cause cognitive decline, too. This happens due to the rapid changes in images, sounds, and actions that our brain process while we are passively receiving information. During that activity, we do not interact with what we are seeing in the way we would when playing a video game or researching something online.

Binge-watching TV can lead to a more alert but a less-focused brain. The activity can be stressful, and stress often leads to impairments in cognition. Watching television for many hours per day may also take up time that could be spent on other cognitively beneficial activities.

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The long-term effects that binge-watching TV can have on the brain abound, and more researches need to be carried out in order to determine how it could increase the risk of cognitive decline. Since watching TV is mostly a passive activity, there is the chance of expending so much time sitting and being physically inactive.

To help you stay healthy, you should find ways to balance watching TV with a more engaging activity like playing a challenging game, attempting a puzzle, or learning a new skill in your free time. Physical activity is good for your heart, and staying heart-healthy is another way to keep your brain in shape. Therefore, combining passive TV time with activities that get you out of the house will help you stay alert and healthy. You could indulge in stimulating activities like crossword puzzles, creative arts activities, or simply reading a good book.

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This article was first published on 21st August 2022


Ohia, Ernest Chigaemezu is a writer, editor, and grade teacher based in Jos, Nigeria.

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