Skipping your workout to binge on a season of your favourite show will have a negative effect on your brain, results of a new study suggest.
The study was conducted over 25 years and followed 3,000 young adults into midlife, with its findings recently reported in JAMA Psychiatry.
Researchers found that young people who watched the most television and did the least physical activity scored worse on certain cognitive tests than those who were more fit and less addicted to TV.
Heavy bingers had slightly lower brain processing speeds and worse executive function, such as working memory, reasoning, task flexibility, problem solving, planning, and execution.
However, they scored just as well as other participants on verbal memory tests.
Ars Technica reported that the research also pointed to possible faster cognitive decline in later life as a result of bad TV and exercise habits early in life.
It highlighted that this is just speculation currently, as the researchers only tested cognitive skills at the end of the 25 years – not at the beginning.