We all know the infamous saying: “it’s the little things that go a long way.” The expression holds true for all things, especially habits. Developing a habit — good or bad — can have a major impact on your health and personal well-being. Without recognizing the acts that make up your daily routine and the consequences associated with them, we fail to realize which of these habits should be kept and which should be broken. So, let’s take a closer look:
Here are the top five everyday habits that are negatively affecting your health:
Whether you’re smoking a cigarette or inhaling a vape pen, there is no safe level of tobacco or nicotine use. From tooth decay to lung cancer, smoking affects nearly every organ of the body, regardless of how often you do it. Since smoking is the leading cause of preventable death, it’s your job to take control of this habit. Despite the pleasure that can come from short to moderate use, removing the act from your daily routine can help to protect you from developing other medical conditions such as erectile dysfunction or coronary heart disease.
2. Using a Hand Dryer
Although hand dryers are environmentally friendly compared to paper towels, the tendency to use them can be hazardous to your health, according to research. One study shows that hot-air hand dryers found in public restrooms are not only blowing hot air onto your hands, but they’re also spewing fecal germs. The bacterial horror comes from the poop and bacteria that launches into the air after a person flushes the toilet. The germs then get sucked up into these hand dryers and blasted right back onto your freshly washed hands. Gross!
3. Suppressing Your Sneezes
You may think you’re being polite by holding in your sneezes, but in reality, you’re endangering your health. The purpose of sneezing is for your nose to safeguard you from inhaling things like pollen, dust, and other harmful bacteria. Since our sneezes typically move at a speed of up to 100 miles per hour, holding it in can create tremendous pressure within your body. As a result, this could lead to other health issues like ongoing nosebleeds, fractures of your nasal cartilage, or ruptured eardrums. So next time you feel that sneeze coming on, it’s best to just go ahead and let out an ah-choo!
4. Biting Your Nails
Onychophagia, also known as nail-biting, is a habit typically associated with anxiety because it helps to relieve stress, tension, and boredom. However, the act of chewing your nails is linked to serious health problems. The reason? The disgusting and problematic germs crawling under your fingernails! When dangerous bacteria like staphylococcus aureus is transported from under your nails to your mouth, you’re putting your body at risk of skin infections, pneumonia, and more. Additionally, your oral health is also compromised. Nail-biting can cause tooth loss, tooth fractures, and in worse cases, displaced jaws.
5. Staring at Screens
In the past decade, an average individual’s screen time has amplified exponentially. With most Americans spending at least seven hours staring at one of their digital screens, it’s no surprise the number of health concerns that have transpired over the years. Issues related to vision, lack of sleep, and chronic neck and back pain are just a few problems that affect people every day as a result of the time they spend on their smartphone, tablet, or computer. For best practice, try to refocus your vision every so often at something other than your screen and get off your device at least an hour before you plan on going to bed.
In short, having good health does not just come from a well-balanced diet and regular exercise. It’s the little things we do each and every day that have the biggest influence on our lives. To add years to your life and life to your years the answer is simple — be mindful of your habits and daily routine.