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The Surprising Health Benefit of Watching TV


You probably know by now that sitting is the new smoking, and that logging excessive hours in front of the TV may increase your risk of becoming overweight and obese. But when you only have three days to catch up on the new season of Game of Thrones, what's a girl to do?

There's some good news to your binge-fest: Watching TV might have a surprising health benefit if you don't do it alone. A new survey by Xfinity found that two-thirds of couples say watching TV together has made their relationship stronger, and that couples who watch TV together for more than five hours a week cuddle more than those who don't.

So your relationship reaps the benefits of prolonged TV time, but so does your bod—cuddling has a slew of health benefits, like releasing the feel-good hormone dopamine and the "bonding" hormone oxytocin, which reduces blood pressure, heart disease, stress, and anxiety. Plus, being in love can do wonders for your health; those happy relationship ~feels~ can boost your immunity, help you heal faster, reduce pain, extend your lifespan, encourage you to stay fit, and give you more energy. All that before we even start to get into the health benefits of all the sex those happy couples are having. (Though, we admit, we were surprised to see how many women were faking orgasms for this reason.)

But before you Netflix and chill, just beware of one thing: Couch dates can put you at risk for a serious relationship faux pas; the ultimate breach of millennial loyalty: About half of the couples in the Xfinity survey admit to "TV cheating," AKA watching the next episode without their partner. Not cool, guys. Not cool. (Check out the infographic below for even more interesting facts.)

Xfinity TV Relationship Infographic


Lauren Mazzo

Lauren Mazzo is a digital assistant editor for Shape and Fitness. She's an Ithaca College alumna, a Rochester, NY, native and an NYC transplant.  More →

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