While the idea of binge-watching your favourite films and television shows might seem like a dream, the unwinding activity can soon turn into a bloody nightmare that causes fatal blood clots in the lungs or legs. 

“Binge-watching which involves prolonged sitting in cramped positions for long periods of time, has been linked with an increased risk of developing a venous thromboembolism (VTE). This is a condition where a blood clot forms in a vein. It includes deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism, which is when a clot travels to the lungs – which can be serious or even fatal,” Dr. Mohit Garg of Parel’s Global Hospital told HT. 

How does a clot form? 

If you often spend your days sitting or resting for too long, the healthy circulation of blood in the legs can drastically slow down or come to a standstill. This could result in the formation of blood clots. 

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Can exercise lower the risk of blood clotting in binge-watchers?

“Exercise can reduce the risk of death in relation to time spent sitting, but exercise doesn’t seem to reduce this risk as much in people who watch a lot of television. The increased risk could also be due to unhealthy eating habits often associated with watching TV. An unhealthy diet can also increase your risk of blood clots,” said Dr. Garg.

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Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis

Although not everyone with DVT experiences symptoms, the medical condition usually shows signs in one arm or leg. Its symptoms can include-

Prominent veins

Swelling in the limb

Pain or a feeling of warmth in the swollen limb

Tenderness in the leg during an activity like walking or standing

Discoloration or redness of the skin

Ways to prevent

No matter how interesting a scene in a show or movie appears, it is crucial to take regular breaks from resting or sitting. 

“One should try to move around every time there is an ad break. At least stand and stretch every 30 minutes, or be involved in other physical activities while watching to ensure you are staying active,” said the expert.