5 Common Habits You Never Knew Were Hurting Your Health
Posted on September 26 2014
Crossing your legs is bad for your heart health
While growing up, most girls are taught to cross their legs while sitting, although a recent a study published in Blood Pressure Monitoring found that sitting with your legs cross puts extra stress on the hip joints, can increase one’s risk for blood clots, and raises systolic blood pressure by as much as 7%. Therefore, experts like Dr. Stephen T. Sinatra, MD, FACC (who is a Connecticut-based cardiologist and author of The Great Cholesterol Myth) recommends that women avoid crossing their legs for more than 10-15 minutes at a time.
Locking your knees while standing stresses the knee joints
Experts like David W. Kruse, MD (who is an orthopedic specialist with Hoag Orthopedic Institute in Irvine, California) explain that when we stand we should have our knees slightly bent, which helps reduce the amount of stress being placed on the knee joint by ensuring that the muscles surrounding the knee remain activated and the joint remains stabilized.
Wearing pants/belts that are too tight can cause acid reflux (GERD)
While it’s important to wear pants/belts that are tight enough that they won’t keep falling down, experts like Patrick Takahashi, MD (chief of gastroenterology at St. VincentMedicalCenter in Los Angeles) say that “You should be able to inhale and exhale comfortably with the belt tightened.” Tight pants/belts are known to cause digestive issues like heartburn because they constrict the stomach and send stomach acid back up into the esophagus (which experts say can also increase the risks for esophageal cancer).
Biting your nails can damage your teeth
Nail biting is a common anxiety-related habit that plagues millions of Americans, and it can be a hard habit to break. Your teeth will thank you for kicking this habit! Biting the nails not only exposes you to all sorts of germs and bacteria hiding out under your nails, but it can also cause the teeth to move out of place or break and can cause the enamel coating on your teeth to splinter and leave the teeth exposed.
Carrying around heavy purses/bags/briefcases can damage the back and shoulders
According to the American Chiropractic Association recommendations, your fully loaded purse, bag, or briefcase should weigh no more than 10% of your body weight and you should alternate between carrying them on the left and right shoulders. Constantly carrying a heavy bag over the same shoulder can cause muscular imbalances and chronic pain through the neck, shoulders, and back.
Like most other habits, the best way to break yourself from these habits is with a persistent and conscientious effort. Don’t get frustrated if you still catch yourself biting your nails or crossing your legs after a week.