Ever since the earliest times, one of the biggest fears of humanity has been linked to death and, therefore, people have always looked for different ways to prolong life expectancy. Eating right, exercising, taking dietary supplements, going for regular checkups… we do it all. But wouldn’t you know it that those apparent harmless daily activities are the ones who are threatening our existence.
Today we are going to talk about those daily activities that present a real danger to our life expectancy, according to researchers. Sure there are a lot of daily activities with beneficial effects, like cleaning the house, walking to the grocery store or taking a walk in the park, but you already know they are good for you. So let’s talk about those that are bad for you.
1. Eating not so healthy
Yes, fast food is delicious, but is it that delicious you are ready to endanger your life? Sure, processed foods and red meat seem so handy to consume, but if our diet lacks in fresh foods, vegetables and fruits, this can cause some serious health problems. Research has shown that high consumption of red can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and increases mortality caused by cancer. Not to mention or old enemy, the bad cholesterol. Even people who think they eat right are surprised to discover they have high cholesterol. Reason? All those “hidden fats” in cheese and so-called light products.
2. Sitting down
If you have an office job that involves sitting at a desk for hours, it’s time to pay attention to the advice we’re about to give you: stand up. Studies have shown that even if you exercise regularly, you cannot compensate for the problems caused by sitting on chair for long periods of time. So make sure you stand at least every hour, take the stairs when wanting to take a break. Or change jobs. I hear that sales people do a lot of field work.
3. Sitting in front of a screen
If you’re sitting on a chair and staring at a screen, you’re in big trouble. Spending more than 4 hours a day in front of a screen can increase the risk of stroke or heart attack by 113 %. And get this: reducing the time spent in front of the computer or TV to less than 2 hours per day can add at least 1.4 years in life expectancy of the individual. This one is probably impossible to avoid. Sure, you can stop watching TV, but since nobody is using a pen and paper anymore, it’s pretty difficult to completely give up this activity.
4. Too much sleep
Yes, there is a downside to sleeping too little, such as gaining weight and of course, not feeling well rested and energized. But have you ever noticed that when you sleep for too long is like you want to keep sleeping, because you’re still not rested enough? Well, too much sleep is just as harmful as too little sleep. It has been shown that people who sleep more than nine hours per night present an increased risk of developing heart disease by 41% higher compared to those who sleep eight hours a night. This goes to show you that it only takes an extra hour.
5. Taking drugs for diseases that are not life-threatening
Since we we’re talking about sleep, there is no news that more and more people take sleeping pills, without even having a recommendation from the doctor or without even trying alternative ways. All those drugs you take for insomnia or anxiety may shorten life. A study conducted over a period of 12 years proved that people who were not taking such drugs had a mortality rate smaller by 5 percent, compared with people who used such drugs.
We don’t need to go into details about the negative effects stress has on our lived, but we are going to give you a new piece of information: stress can affect our DNA, more precisely, telomeres. Telomeres are biological markers of aging found in all cells.
7. A long way to work
If you’re like me, that you cannot stand public transport. Now you have another reason for it. Long roads can shorten our lives. A study conducted by the Association of American Geographers shows that people who take more than 30 minutes to get to work die faster. Is there someone who needs less than 30 minutes to get to work?
8. Lack of sense of humor
It’s not that laughter has a specific negative effect of health, it’s that it has so many benefits: strengthen the immune system, reduce stress levels, facilitate emotional release, burns calories. So, needless to say, it’s a good idea to laugh every day. But what if you simple don’t have a sense of humor?
9. Irregular sex life
Having a happy sex life means you’re going to live longer, get rid of stress and burn calories. Studies have shown that women who are happy about their sex life live almost eight years longer. And as far as men are concerned, this translates into a 50% lower rate of mortality.
10. Not being social
No, we’re not talking about Facebook, but about good old fashioned face-to-face interaction and spending time with friends. Do you ever catch yourself thinking, “Oh, I don’t need to catch up with so-and-so – I know all about them thanks to Facebook!”? Well, check this out – studies have shown that people who have a social life and are surrounded by friends and family are likely to live longer.
We would say there are at least five things on this list you can change in order to improve your life expectancy. It’s probably a little bit scary to read about how the normal things you do every day can have such a negative impact on your life, but now that you know about them, you can start taking care of yourself and make some changes that really count.
Photo credits: Tradeford, Aapkisaheli, Wellness, Inspiration feed, Bloomberg, PS Mag, St Georges Hotel, She Knows, Date Daily, Empower Magazine.