Binge watching on the rise! Don’t let aches or pain interrupt your next multi-hour session.

By Sarah Balke

Many people are finding they have extra time on their hands, and are spending it in front of a screen watching shows about big cats, medical dramas, or cartoons with icy tundras, princesses, and magical powers. Maybe you already consider yourself a seasoned binge watcher, maybe you are feeling under the weather and need to stay in bed all day, or maybe you just want to see what all the hype is about.

No judging here… we just want to make sure you are comfortable! Here are a few tips to keep you comfortable during your next digital marathon:

  1. Don’t forget to eat and drink. I’m not talking about potato chips and your beverage of choice! You might think, “it will never happen to me.” Well… writers are clever and sometimes those cliffhangers can suck you in, keeping you so involved in the show, you lose track of time.  Invest in a 64oz water bottle; Amazon has some fun options that help keep you on track throughout the day. Can’t take time to make a healthy meal because you need to see what happens next? Watch the next episode on your tablet, laptop, or phone while in the kitchen.
  2. Show your lower back a little love. If you find sitting to be most comfortable as you splurge on your favorite show, add some support behind your back; if you prefer lying down, put something under your knees. Adding a little bit of support to these areas with a Core Jackson Roll or throw pillow will help take some of the stress off your lower back and keep your body feeling more comfortable.
  3. Elevate your head. Watching a screen while lying flat presents its own challenges. However, if you find yourself binge watching because you are feeling under the weather, elevating your head may actually make breathing a little bit easier. Stacking pillows might sound like a good idea at first, but it may leave you with a sore neck. Try using a wedge style cushion to raise your head. Not only will this help provide the support and elevation you need, if you are congested, it also helps gravity do its work.
  4. Prop up your feet. If you are a traveler or sit at a desk for long periods of time, this tip will come as no surprise. Sitting with your feet down for long periods of time can result in a serious condition known as Pulmonary Embolism - blood clots that have traveled, typically from the legs, to the lungs. Promoting circulation by propping up your feet, doing knee bends, or pumping your ankles – as if you are pushing on a gas pedal - can help. It is important to note that these simple exercises do not replace getting up and moving around, one of your best defenses for avoiding blood clots in the legs.
  5. Support your neck. Maybe you’ve already experienced a sore neck, headaches, or upper back pain associated with poor posture while on a streaming spree. Sitting with your head unsupported and bent forward puts extra strain on the muscles in your neck and upper back. A horseshoe shaped pillow is not only ideal for traveling, it can also help support your neck and lighten the load of your head while binge watching.

Let’s be serious for a moment. It’s doesn’t matter what your position of choice is for binge watching. Lying down or sitting for long periods of time can have some serious health implications in as little as two weeks. Studies show too much laying or sitting around will cause blood sugar and bad cholesterol to rise and large muscle mass, the fat burner, to decline.  Get up and move for at least 2-4 hours each day. That doesn’t mean hours and hours of exercise, although a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise each day should be every healthy adult’s goal. This means, during the 8 hours you are binging, stand up for a few episodes, it doesn’t even need to interrupt your screen time!

Now, what are you waiting for?… you know you can’t wait to find out what happens next!

SOURCES:

https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/11/19/ask-well-is-lying-down-as-bad-for-you-as-sitting/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/deskbound-heres-how-much-you-need-to-stand-or-move-to-stay-healthy/2015/07/20/7ab35878-2a59-11e5-bd33-395c05608059_story.html

https://amerisleep.com/blog/better-sleep-when-sick/

https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20110705/sitting-for-long-time-linked-to-pulmonary-embolism#1

https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-increase-circulation-in-legs#lying-down-exercises

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