Cleanliness tests in Britain have revealed that cash machines are just as dirty as public toilets, and many of us are failing to wash our hands after using them.
Smoking, eating junk food, binge drinking… We all know the biggies when it comes to the health habits we should try to avoid. However, some of our seemingly innocent habits could also be causing us harm. Here are 5 everyday habits that are bad for your health.
Everyday health hazard 1: Lying
Whether you’re complimenting your best friend’s unflattering hairdo or “improvising” on the cost of your new designer shoes, we all tell the odd fib from time to time. However, according to research, those little white lies could be more harmful than you think. Lying can generate feelings of stress which are damaging to your health, and a study by researchers at the University of Notre Dame found that when people reduced the amount of lies they told they suffered from less headaches, sore throats and anxiety.
Everyday health hazard 2: Eating at your desk
If you’re having a busy day in work, it can be tempting to skip your lunch break and eat at your desk. However, missing out on breaks is not only bad for your stress levels, eating while distracted may also mean you are more likely to overeat. Furthermore, spending your lunch hour at your desk can lengthen the time you are physically inactive and also expose you to harmful bacteria. According to a study by the University of Arizona, your work station contains nearly 400 times more germs than the average toilet seat, making it a less than ideal place for dining.
Everyday health hazard 3: Housework
Need an excuse to put your feet up? Well, good news: research suggests that leaving the housework for another day could give your health a boost! Research results published in the Journal of Family Psychology revealed that doing housework when you get home from work prevents levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) from lowering and reduces recovery from stress. However, stress levels for both men and women were lowered by housework being completed – just so long as they weren’t the ones doing it. Look after your health by taking turns to do the housework with other members of your household if possible, and take time out to relax afterwards.
Everyday health hazard 4: Using cash machines
Withdrawing money from ATM machines is a common habit for most of us. However, cleanliness tests in Britain have revealed that cash machines are just as dirty as public toilets, and many of us are failing to wash our hands after using them. Experts assessed swabs from the key pads on cash machines and also from nearby public toilets and found that they both contained the same types of bacteria known to cause sickness. To look after your health, use an antibacterial hand gel once you have made your withdrawal and after handling money.
Everyday health hazard 5: Cancelling plans
Find yourself frequently cancelling plans and bailing out on social events to have a bit of time to yourself? Then it may be time to pay some attention to your social life. While a bit of ‘me time’ is essential to good mental and physical health, too much time on your own can actually be bad for you. Research suggests that having strong social bonds promotes brain health, reduces feelings of depression and stress and encourages you to look after your health. In fact, a study found that having few friends affects your longevity as much as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
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