Research Publication Title

Examining the Health and Wellness Costs Associated with Binge-watching Behaviors

Major

Psychology

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Whitney Heppner

Keywords

Binge-watching, Health Behaviors, Loneliness, Health Risk Behavior, Social Psychology

Abstract

The prevalence of binge-watching behavior is increasing as access to streaming entertainment media becomes more readily available (Flayelle, Maurage, Vögele, Karila, & Billieux, 2018). There is little research that exists examining binge-watching behaviors and health behaviors. Exelmans and Van den Bulk (2017) found correlations between binge-watching and certain maladaptive behaviors such as poor sleep quality. Along these lines, the first aim of the current study was to determine whether self-reported binge-watching behavior is related to self-reported health and health risk behaviors. In the current study these health behaviors included frequency of eating fast or restaurant foods, drinking alcohol, physical activity, fruit and vegetable intake, smoking, and perceived overall health. In addition to examining health risk behaviors the second aim of our study was to examine the correlation between self-reported binge-watching behaviors and social factors of wellness such as loneliness. Across these two aims, we predicted that high levels of binge-watching behaviors would predict less health behaviors, more health risk behaviors, and greater loneliness. Undergraduate participants (N=263) completed an online survey assessing their media habits and health and wellness variables. Our hypotheses were largely supported. Higher frequency of binge-watching predicted more impulsive and high-risk health behaviors such as eating fast food, drinking alcohol, and less physical activity. Binge-watching also correlated with lower perceived health and higher loneliness. The results of this study are useful in revealing a largely uninvestigated relationship between media watching habits, physical health, and wellness, and they contribute to our understanding of the detriments of binge-watching.

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Examining the Health and Wellness Costs Associated with Binge-watching Behaviors

The prevalence of binge-watching behavior is increasing as access to streaming entertainment media becomes more readily available (Flayelle, Maurage, Vögele, Karila, & Billieux, 2018). There is little research that exists examining binge-watching behaviors and health behaviors. Exelmans and Van den Bulk (2017) found correlations between binge-watching and certain maladaptive behaviors such as poor sleep quality. Along these lines, the first aim of the current study was to determine whether self-reported binge-watching behavior is related to self-reported health and health risk behaviors. In the current study these health behaviors included frequency of eating fast or restaurant foods, drinking alcohol, physical activity, fruit and vegetable intake, smoking, and perceived overall health. In addition to examining health risk behaviors the second aim of our study was to examine the correlation between self-reported binge-watching behaviors and social factors of wellness such as loneliness. Across these two aims, we predicted that high levels of binge-watching behaviors would predict less health behaviors, more health risk behaviors, and greater loneliness. Undergraduate participants (N=263) completed an online survey assessing their media habits and health and wellness variables. Our hypotheses were largely supported. Higher frequency of binge-watching predicted more impulsive and high-risk health behaviors such as eating fast food, drinking alcohol, and less physical activity. Binge-watching also correlated with lower perceived health and higher loneliness. The results of this study are useful in revealing a largely uninvestigated relationship between media watching habits, physical health, and wellness, and they contribute to our understanding of the detriments of binge-watching.