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Sitting And Binge Watching TV Is Actually Good For You, Study Says

04/01/2015 06:38 EDT | Updated 04/01/2015 07:59 EDT
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Using Technology At Night in Bed

If hours of binge watching 90s television shows on your laptop is your idea of a weekend escape, there's now evidence that you should be doing more of it.

According to recent research by Pennbrooke University, which has been compiled for The Huffington Post Canada, sitting for long periods of time (yes, this includes all of you 9-to-whenever office workers), and keeping your eyes focused on a monitor like a screen or mobile device will actually sharpen your eyes, brain and lower body.

Contrary to other popular studies of how sitting is "dangerous" and how your office chair is "killing you," researchers at the university believe the long period of sitting is actually "creating a stronger structure" for your muscles in your lower body, and improving your focus and memory.

"This research is truly one of a kind, and with all the focus around how binge watching TV and sitting may be contributing to long-term health concerns, this data suggests we may have been wrong," Dr. Reed Hastings, head of the cultural physiotherapy program at Pennbrooke, told us over a Skype interview. "It's about time a common hobby among all North Americans be recognized for its benefits for our overall health."

To conduct the study, Hastings sampled a small population of television lovers, couch potatoes and so-called "active people" who regularly went to the gym three to four times a week. After running three different tests — an eye test, a memory test using movie posters and a lower body workout without weights — Hastings concluded people who had been watching up to eight to 15 hours of TV straight were more likely to score higher on the specific tests.

Some of his findings are included below, and as the data suggests, watching only two hours of television (that's about four episodes of "The Mindy Project") will positively affect all three areas of your health.

Hastings says this small sample is just the beginning, and he`s planning other studies with different participants (even mice), to see how they will react with hours of Netflix, for example.

And if you're the type of person who already loves to sit and watch hours and hours of TV, Hastings says these groups of people are called "the experts," and they will influence future generations. For them, he suggests using multiple devices.

"If you are watching a show, for example, try sending a text or reading an e-book at the same time," he says. "The more devices you use, the more your brain and eyes have to work."

laptop in bed

Below, we've also included a slideshow of the best shows to binge watch while you're simultaneously working your three major body parts. Give it a try (for eight hours at least) and try taking a simple math test. Let us know the results.

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HAPPY APRIL FOOL'S DAY!

Although the idea of binge watching and sitting at our desks all day being beneficial sounds like an exercise routine that would work all too well with our lifestyle, sadly, this is simply untrue. We still, however, recommend two hours of "The Mindy Project" as often as possible.

Also on HuffPost

Best TV Shows To Binge-Watch