Of all ages in human history, this is perhaps the golden age of mankind. Because advancement in modern technology coupled with groundbreaking research discoveries in both science and modern medicine have led to the near total eradication of some of the world’s deadliest diseases. More than ever before, never was there a time to have a better quality of life, lead a healthier and more prosperous life and above all, improve one’s longevity than this moment in time.
Yet, in spite of these mind-blowing feats in science and medicine, the causes of poor health and premature deaths in our society have not waned, if anything, they seem to have gone up (in fact, our hospitals are still in high demand). And a lot of it can be directly linked to our lifestyle choices and poor health habits. While these unhealthy behaviors may pose no serious health risks to those who indulge in them, however in the long run, their accumulative effect can affect the healthiest of people leading to a failing general health. However, with benefit of sufficient awareness, a lot of these unhealthy habits and their host of medical consequences could be avoided by those who unknowingly keep them. To be on a safer side health-wise, you’ll find seven of these worst unhealthy habits below.
(1) You Listen To Music On Full Blast
I have to confess, I’m one of those music lovers who can’t go a day without my earbud plugged into my both ears. Too often, I find myself tuning up the music volume on my Lumia whenever I’m listening to music on my device through earbuds. And like most young people, I tend to enjoy my music best when it’s loudest with the volume turned up to the max, music deafeningly on full blast and I’m dead to the world. It seemed like a harmless enough habit at first, until people started telling me I wasn’t hearing them unless they spoke to me at the top of their voices. It just didn’t occur to me what this habit was doing to me – that this regular exposure to loud music was unsafe and had been insidiously screwing with my hearing. A lot of you reading this will confess you are guilty of this too, if you’re being honest.
Hearing experts warn that frequent exposure to loud noise over long periods of time can damage the soft tissue of the inner ear. And if enough cells are destroyed through this, it can lead to permanent loss of hearing. If you want to avoid this loud-music induced deafness at just your prime, don’t listen to music at more than 60% of your maximum volume.
(2) You Stare Too Much At Screens
We are all mostly children of the digital era, awestruck by its overwhelming capabilities while developing an almost unbreakable bond with the ever increasing array of today’s technologies. Nearly everyone now owns a smartphone, PC or even wall-size plasma TV in our homes. But as our love affair with these modern technologies have grown ever stronger, so too have they opened the door to abuse, meaning many of us can rarely go a day of our lives without staring at the screens of our electronic gadgets. Some of us rely on our PCs for work. Others socialize on their smartphones. While another sizeable number spend hours each night with the TV on our favorite shows. But researchers are beginning to relate the rapid rise in failing eyesight to our screen-dependent existence. There’s mounting evidence that prolonged exposure to the low intensity blue light from smartphones, TVs and PCs, which, besides ruining your sleep could damage the eyes retina cells leading to myopia. If you don’t want to lose your sleep, or more importantly, have impaired vision as these researchers warn, cut down on your screen time.
(3) You Are Strapped to a Chair All Day
We hear fitness buffs talk about the benefits of maintaining an active lifestyle and been always on the move. Yet, unconsciously and without meaning to, so many of us go against these expert advice by adopting behaviors that put us through periods of prolonged inactivity. An instance of this is sitting, which is now widely regarded as “the new smoking” by researchers. And that’s a fluent indicator of just how hazardous sitting for extended periods can be to your health if left unchecked.
According to the Mayoclinic, sitting for long periods of time can be linked to an increasing number of health issues like obesity, increased blood pressure, excess body fat around the waist and what’s worse, it’s linked to increase risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. If you spend all day sitting at work, behind the wheels or in front of the TV, now might be time to get off your feet and get active.
(4) You Bite Your Nails
Even if you are person of impeccable hygiene with your fingers always manicured, the mere act of having your fingers in between your teeth whether from anxiety or just to keep your mouth busy may have severe health consequences for you. Apart from the dental problems and nail abnormalities it might cause, biting your finger nails can make you sick. Your fingertips are a hotbed for all kinds of germs and bacteria and when you bite your nails, those bacteria can be introduced into your body. When this happens, experts say it could lead to gastrointestinal problems which might impair your quality of life. If this is something you do, you’ve got to stop it or you might face the consequences pretty soon.
(5) You Live On Junk Food
Given the high patronage of the many different varieties of processed foods we have now from among the majority of the populace, junk food consumption may already seem like a cultural tradition. Everywhere you turn, you’ll find junk foods everywhere from supermarket shelves to high-end eats, and with customers in endless supply, there are more of them springing up near us. The meals seem far tastier to our home-cooked ones, and they come in handy particularly for those of us who are either too tired or busy to cook or plain terrible at it. They are even so cheap now, you could live on them 24-hours a day. We know just what having too many takeout’s can mean for our fitness. But have we really thought about what a complete dependency on these sweety foods might be doing to our health?
Health experts have already had their say, and this has been further supported by many studies showing how a junk food diet negatively impacts our health. First off, these foods have constituents that override the brain’s mechanism for regulating fullness. So the more of it you take, the stronger its hold on you.
Dr Mercola, the founder of mercola.com says that refined carbohydrates like breakfast cereals, waffles, and most other processed foods quickly break down to sugar in your body contributing to insulin resistance which is the major underlying factor behind every chronic disease. He also adds that it can lead to an increased risk of heart attack. So for a healthier lifestyle, it’s important you don’t binge on any of the many hot-selling junk foods.
(6) You Go Too Many Days Without a Wink of Sleep
Though some people may not see it this way, nonetheless, for a race born into life-long labour, sleep is one of those rare blessings of life bestowed on us, to help us reboot, refresh and replenish our energies after a day’s exertions. Yet, it’s the one thing many would happily sacrifice on the altar of ambition. At every moment, many are either giving up sleep to put in a lot of overtime at work for extra pay or staying up late to binge-watch on Netflix. We are gradually becoming a race of sleep-deprived people. While for many, going a day without sleep might not seem exactly that life-threatening, but then, when those days begin to pile up, it can take a toll on both your mental and physical health and wear you out in every way.
Experts warn that numerous prolonged episodes of sleep deprivation could pose serious health consequences. According to the Mayoclinic, “sleeping less than seven hours a night is associated with weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure and depression”. “When you don’t get enough sleep, you may experience increased body aches and pains, reduced immune function and impaired performance at work”.
To avoid these endless ripple effects of sleep deprivation just outlined above, never get so busy that you can’t have a shut-eye in any single day. By all means, get your beauty sleep and for at least eight hours every night.
(7) You Snack Between Meals
In this era where people binge on nearly everything you could imagine, people with uncontrollable eating habits are hardly scarce anymore. Most of us are big eaters, never giving our mouths a moment rest. Even after a having meal, you might find people gobbling up on snacks barely moments afterwards. In fairness to them, most are probably unaware of the exact downsides of this unhealthy eating habit. Of course, the dangers might not be of the exact same level as the others I’ve mentioned so far, but if this habit is something you’re prone to, it can create problems for your health which can be anything but mild. And the reason is this; when you eat, your body needs time (between four to five hours) to process, break down and digest the foods in your stomach. But when you snack so soon after a meal, you put food on food, interrupting the ongoing digestive process. This results in indigestion, leading to stomach upset, heartburn and even constipation. You’ll no doubt agree that these ailments can endanger your good health.