5 Habits That Hurt Your Health More Than You Think

5 Habits That Hurt Your Health More Than You Think

Step away from the cotton swab! Your daily routine could really hurt your health. 

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By Taylor Lupo

So, you eat kale, drink protein shakes and have a gym membership. You must be healthy, right? Think again! Some of your most innocent daily habits could really be hurting your health.

It’s no surprise smoking and frequent trips to fast food joints can put a damper on your wellbeing, but skipping your lunch break and falling asleep without any hanky panky can shave years off your life, too. Find out which little behaviors could be killing you and kick the traditions before it’s too late!

Staying Too Long at the Bar

2 / 6 Staying Too Long at the Bar

Moderate drinking—one serving of alcohol per day for women and two for men—has proven health benefits for your heart and longevity. But with every additional cocktail, your happy hour becomes more and more damaging.

For women who exceed seven drinks a week, and men who down more than 14, there are no health benefits—only negative consequences. Heavy drinking is associated with a higher risk of high blood pressure, heart failure and stroke. 

Skipping out on Sex

3 / 6 Skipping out on Sex

A little time between the sheets—and no, we don’t mean sleeping—can do your mind and body a world of good

Why? Sex can help bust stress! One small study suggests people who have “penile-vaginal intercourse” have smaller increases in blood pressure levels than people who don’t have sex, meaning they're better able to cope with daily stressors. Another study found that something as simple as a lover’s touch may lower blood pressure. But that’s not all—regular sex might help combat illness and keep you feeling healthy, too.

Spice up your love life—your body will thank you.   

Using Cotton Swabs in Your Ears

4 / 6 Using Cotton Swabs in Your Ears

Cotton swabs: We all have a stash in our bathroom, but we should really reconsider how we use them. Despite any satisfaction you might get from this dirty deed, cotton swabs are not an effective way to remove earwax. In fact, this method can:

  • Cause cuts inside your ear
  • Push wax further into the ear
  • Puncture the eardrum

Doctors agree. A recent update to the clinical practice guidelines, written by the American Academy of Otolaryngology and the Head and Neck Surgery Foundation, indicates they haven’t changed their stance on cotton swabs—we shouldn’t use them to clean our ears.

Speak with a health care professional about safe ways to remove excess earwax

Holding Your Pee

5 / 6 Holding Your Pee

Sometimes holding it in is unavoidable, but making a habit of waiting too long to use the loo can permanently damage your body.

In addition to pain and discomfort, delaying urination may result in more urinary tract infections. If that wasn’t bad enough, holding your pee can cause kidney damage and make it harder to empty your bladder when you finally go. When your body tells you it’s time to hit the bathroom, it’s probably best to listen.   

Eating at Your Desk

6 / 6 Eating at Your Desk

Desk lunches are convenient, and it sure beats not having lunch at all. So what’s wrong with taking a few bites while you type? Just like a television set, your computer screen is distracting, and distracted eating is associated with overeating and weight gain. On the other hand, one study suggests mindful eating, during which you actively think about what you consume, can aid weight loss and maintenance.

Another tip: Take a step away from your desk and enjoy a standing lunch. Too much sitting isn’t good for your health; obesity, high blood pressure and elevated blood sugar are linked to planting your butt in a chair for most of the day. 



Wellness is a difficult word to define. Traditionally wellness has meant the opposite of illness and the absence of disease and disability. More recently wellness has come to describe something that you have personal control over. ...

Wellness is now a word used to describe living the best possible life you can regardless of whether you have a disease or disability. Your wellness is not only related to your physical health, but is a combination of things including spiritual wellness, social wellness, mental wellness and emotional wellness. Wellness is seen as a combination of mind, body and spirit. Different people may have different ideas about wellness. There is no single set standard for wellness and wellness is a difficult thing to quantify.