Sticking to routines is a natural human tendency. From the moment we wake up until we go back to bed, we tend to follow a routine. These routines, when developed become overlooked daily habits. Then, we do certain actions that we aren’t completely aware of. It’s like our bodies perform these actions almost automatically. It’s just how the human brain works.
Unfortunately, some of these actions we do unconsciously have negative effects on our health. One way to prevent their side effects is to become more aware of your own actions. So, here are some everyday habits that you need to watch out for:
1. Keeping the wallet in your back pocket.
Most men are guilty of this habit. “Sitting on your wallet causes your buttocks to be uneven, which can trigger low back pain, hip pain, or even pain in the upper back or shoulders,” said Dr. Jennifer Caudle, a DO, family physician, and assistant professor at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine. “The presence of a wallet in a back pocket could also irritate nerves in the lower back and legs”.
This phenomenon is otherwise called ‘fat wallet syndrome’ or ‘wallet sciatica’. It is a simple everyday habit that can damage a person’s spine in the long run. To prevent this, either take out your wallet every time you sit or put it in a small bag.
2. Using hand dryers in public restrooms.
Studies show that hand dryers actually blow fecal germs (yes, from poop) back onto your recently cleaned hands. “Many kinds of bacteria, including potential pathogens and spores, can be deposited on hands exposed to bathroom hand dryers,” some experts said.
“Within a large building, potentially pathogenic bacteria, including bacterial spores, may travel between rooms, and subsequent bacterial/spore deposition by hand dryers is a possible mechanism for the spread of infectious bacteria.”
3. Blocking your nose when sneezing.
Get this. A report in the medical journal The BMJ presented a case where a man tore a part of his throat, his pharynx, by pinching his nose shut during a sneeze. “If a sneeze is held in, the pressure is still generated but not released,” said Sanchayeeta Mitra, MD, PIH health otolaryngologist, ENT.
“When that happens, the pressure can back up, either into the sinuses or the back of the nose, through the mouth and throat or the chest… Having the pressure back up can also cause other injuries with ruptured blood vessels in any area such as the chest, throat, eyes, or brain.” While none of these injuries are common, it’s generally better to let the sneeze out by grabbing a tissue or facing somewhere appropriate.
4. Putting down your bags on kitchen surfaces.
Another overlooked daily Habits is among all surfaces in the house where you can put down your purse and bags, the kitchen table or counter is the worst. Doing so spreads germs around your eating and food preparation areas. “The bottoms of purses are notorious for picking up germs and bacteria from the different places that they are set down,” said Dr. Caudle.
“Placing a purse on the table allows for these bacteria to potentially end up there—which might be where you work, eat, or your kids play!” A study even showed that handbags can pick up more bacteria than a toilet seat. Unless you religiously clean these surfaces before and after use, it’s best to place your bags someplace else.
5. Not using separate chopping boards for meat and produce.
Besides defrosting at room temperature, a common yet serious kitchen mistake is using the same cutting board for meat and vegetables. In a study, volunteers were tasked to prepare a meal that included chopping raw meat and making a fruit salad. Results showed traces of salmonella bacteria in 90% (yikes, that’s almost all of them!) of the volunteers’ salads.
They also somehow spread the bacteria around the kitchen. To avoid this, wash your hands properly, then sanitize surfaces and utensils after each use. Most importantly, use separate chopping boards for produce and for meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs to avoid germ transfer and cross-contamination.
Avoid this overlooked daily habits now!