Too much TV gives you square eyes, we were told by our parents, but the effects of binge-watching could take an even worse toll on our bodies.
With the UK now in its eleventh consecutive week of coronavirus lockdown, streaming service usage levels have gone through the roof.
Bored Brits stuck at home have relied on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and other platforms to while away the hours with endless movies and shows on demand.
But if that habit becomes a lifestyle, binge-watchers could develop some very unappealing physical characteristics including obesity, bloodshot eyes, premature ageing and bad posture.
Researchers from onlinegambling.com have constructed two human models named Eric and Hannah, which represent what a chronic Netflix addict might look like in just 20 years.
“From obesity and posture damage to premature ageing and bloodshot eyes, these are just some of the nasty effects they gathered through their research,” they told the Mirror.
Eric and Hannah have pasty skin and bald patches due to a lack of sunlight, but the artificial light from their screens have also prematurely aged them and they have some serious under-eye bags.
They’re both severely obese from all that time sitting in front of the screen, and their posture is terrible.
Their inactive lifestyles have given them varicose veins, misshapen leg muscles and what’s known as “dead butt syndrome”.
The researchers explained: “Sitting for too long puts persistent pressure on the pelvic region, which damages your glutes – causing backache, and pain in the hip region and ankles.”
But the damage doesn’t stop at their bodies. Eric and Hannah also have higher than normal levels of depression and anxiety as “bingeing usually means you sleep less”.
The terrifying models of a possible future are a grim reminder that while TV and movies may be a welcome comfort at the moment, a harmless hobby can spiral into addiction.
In 2018 a 26-year-old man in India was diagnosed with the world’s first case of Netflix addiction, after spending six months watching the service for at least eight hours a day.