Why you should exercise while binge-watching television

A new study may have finally found the answer to that age-old question: when is the best time to exercise?

And it seems you can work it around watching Married At First Sight.

Often at the end of a long day of work and once the news is finished, many of us want to binge-watch our favourite show. 

But a new Otago University study has found the perfect time to do that is also the perfect time to exercise.

"The key really is for general health and for the prevention of disease," the study's lead author Jennifer Gale said.

The Netflix and Move study looked at 30 participants of different weight statuses. On one occasion they sat and watched a streaming service for four hours. 

"The other session they came in and did the same thing, except every 30 minutes they got up and did three minutes of exercises and they watched a video that we had prepared," Gale said.

The research found regular activity breaks lowered plasma glucose by 30 percent and insulin by 26 percent.

Insulin is the hormone that clears blood sugar from your blood, but that tends to decrease in the evenings.

"We have our biggest meal in the evening. It just means there tends to be more glucose in our blood for a longer period of time and that's what we're trying to reduce," Gale said.

And the best way to reduce that is exercise.

Researchers said online streaming platforms could be encouraging sedentary behaviour because there are no ad breaks.

The average time watching Netflix, for example, is estimated to be about three hours a day. 

"Many of us don't watch traditional TV so you don't get up and get your drink in the ad breaks. You just press 'next episode' on Netflix and keep going, so you're sitting that whole time," Otago University human nutrition researcher Dr Meredith Peddie said.  

So when you're watching Married At First Sight, squeeze in a few squats or maybe a calf raise.