A study has revealed 4 out of 5 people in the UK watch back-to-back episodes of TV programmes, with 6% staying put for more than eight hours in one sitting.

Online retailer Furniture Choice surveyed Brits to investigate their TV viewing habits and to determine the impact of this on the nation's health. Over half (52%) of those surveyed regularly spend more than three hours at a time watching their favourite programme and shockingly 10% of men admitted to binge watching TV for more than eight hours at a time.

Respondents were also asked how TV influences their social lives. 86% of people said that watching TV is good quality time to spend as a family, however a third (31%) of people admitted to cancelling plans with friends or family to watch TV and, alarmingly, more than a quarter (28%) said they would rather watch TV than go out for the day with their partner.

Dr Sultan, a GP based in West Yorkshire, commented "These are shocking statistics. There is mounting evidence that increased viewing can be related to social isolation and social withdrawal leading to depression and anxiety, not to mention relationship problems."

"If you find yourself regularly withdrawing from social events or going out, I think the first important step is to acknowledge that this is now becoming a problem. Try to reduce the amount of time spent watching TV and replace this with other more stimulating and pleasurable activities."

When it comes to the devices people are using to watch TV programmes on, 82% said they regularly watch traditional TV, compared to 52% who watch shows online using a laptop, tablet computer or games console. Despite the rising popularity of services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, people are still more likely to watch back-to-back episodes on DVD box sets (51%) rather than via online platforms (40%). 65% of people watch TV programmes in bed, and more than one in five (22%) admitted to watching TV in bed to avoid having sex with their partner.

Dr Sultan added "There are numerous studies that highlight that sitting for extended periods watching TV, especially for more than three hours, is associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, back pain, some types of cancer and even linked with premature death."

"I don't think there is enough public awareness around the physical health risks associated with not moving for long periods of time. We should be moving around every half an hour, if not more, to reduce the above risks. Where men are concerned, binge watching TV for over eight hours suggests they are using TV as a distraction or a form of relaxation, usually from the increasing levels of stress and anxiety from daily life."

Although 9 out of 10 people surveyed said it was important to monitor what children watch on TV or on devices such as iPads and laptops, 50% think that teenagers should be able to use this technology to watch shows in their bedroom.

Tom Obbard, director at Furniture Choice, said "We carried out the survey in order to highlight the importance of staying active and raise awareness of the dangers of watching TV for too long, but the results really are shocking. We hope that people will now take Dr Sultan's advice and cut down on their screen time."

Binge-watching is bad for our health!

Binge-watching is bad for our health!

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk