Binge-watching is making us dumb, according to science

Come on, you guys, come on. You KNEW binge-watching wasn’t good for you. You knew this deep down in your hearts. And now science is confirming what we all pretty much already knew (Shhhh, don’t lie, you knew).

As TIME reports, researchers at the Northern California Institute for Research and Education took data from a 25-year-long study focusing on 3,200 18-30 year olds, and the results did not bode well for binge-watching. Participants who reported watching the most TV (more than three hours a day) and engaged in the least physical activity (less than two and a half hours a week) experienced the worst decline in cognitive functioning, and this decline was definitely happening before participants even reached middle age.

“Wait, like what parts of my cognitive functioning are going to be bad because I stayed in and watched all of Jessica Jones instead of getting my half-marathon on this weekend?” you may be asking yourself at this point.

Well, as the study revealed, study participants who got in a lot of TV watching and not a lot of exercising had worse memories, slower processing speed, and poorer ability to plan and complete tasks than their peers who got a substantial amount of exercise in and kept their TV watching to a minimum.

This isn’t the first time that a study has shown that maximum TV watching/minimum exercise leads to cognitive decline, but, as the researchers attest, it IS one of the first studies to show that decline can start at such an early age, like, before you can legally rent a car-early.

So, does this study PROVE that being a couch potato makes you, um, less smart? No, there would need to be a lot more studies to rule out all the variables, but I think we can all agree that any study that suggests that we turn off the TV and go outside and play (as Everyone in the World’s Parents have been nagging them to do for years) is a study that’s probably well worth listening to.

(Image via Giphy)

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