Binge watching has become a huge deal in recent years. It’s the perfect hangout plan, the perfect way to round out a relaxing weekend, and the perfect low-key date night idea. Flicking on your favorite streaming service and seeing the latest season of your favorite show typically elicits a response like “Well, I know what I’m doing this weekend.”, and a few hours later you’ll arise from the comfiest spot on your couch somehow feeling like you’ve actually been sitting there a decade or more.
The soreness and pain felt after a great binge watch session isn’t hard to make sense of when you really think about what is going on. Your posture as you relax and hit “next episode” likely isn’t the best, leading to all sorts of pain you’re not quite expecting.
Binge Watching And Your Posture
There are a few common positions your body will naturally fall into while you’re binge watching. While every person’s binge watching style is different, there is a stark trend when it comes to poor posture. The top 3 poor postural positions your watching is likely to cause are:
- Forward head – Forward head is one of the most noticeable and one of the most common poor postural positions related to binge watching. Your head relaxes and juts forward with your chin leading it in this direction, creating a position that is similar to one you may find yourself in if you lean in closely to read small text.
While in the forward head position, the boney tunnels used by the nerves to leave the spine are condensed, causing pain and discomfort over just a short period of time. Typically, the longer you watch TV, the more your neck will relax into this position.
- Rounded shoulders – From the forward head position, rounded shoulders are a natural progression. As your head moves forward, your shoulders follow suit, slumping forward themselves causing a visible hump at the base of the neck. This rounded shoulder position causes the shoulder blades to rotate and pinch muscles or tendons, leaving them irritated and sore.
In addition to this, rounded shoulders may make it more difficult to breathe naturally, causing your chest muscles to work overtime to ensure you’re getting enough air.
- Flat back – Couches are notorious for causing “flat back” sitting, which occurs when you sit on your tailbone instead of your buttock muscles. The lower back is supposed to take a shock absorbing “S” like shape, which flattens out when sitting in this tailbone heavy position.
Binging can be done comfortably, but it will take keeping a few things in mind. First, movement is important to keeping the pain away and avoiding the slump into poor postural positions. Getting up to move after every episode is recommended. Lumbar support devices made to keep the lower back in proper position can provide worthwhile postural assistance while in watch mode, and shoulders should be consciously kept against the back of the couch or chair to avoid falling into the slump.