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Innocent habits that may be killing you slowly

These habits are usually harmless (Photo: Courtesy)

Our lives are full of innocent habits that come almost naturally to us. Such seemingly innocent habits are mostly harmless.

But in matters health, any ingrained habit has potential to eventually lead to an unwanted disease state.  If you are trying to be healthier but failing somewhat, you need to review habits that you have developed over the years. Take a hard look at what you repeatedly do without much thought.

These are habits that appear harmless. You will be surprised to realize that some habits may be negatively affecting your health. How much time do you spend sitting behind a working desk? It isn’t unusual to find yourself stuck to your desk for several hours daily.

That is never good for you. It’s a silent predisposition to cardio-metabolic diseases, among other ailments. The more hours you spend sitting, the more years you write off from your life expectancy. You need to be standing often, walking around the work place, and taking breaks to savor in some fresh air outdoors.

Do you have your meals at your workstation? This may be a good way to multi-task, but it’s also the surest way to ingest lots of micro-organisms.

Studies have shown that computer keyboards and office surfaces contain over 400 times more germs than the average toilet seat. Would you ever consider eating your sandwich whilst working on a toilet top? Get off your office, wash hands and have your meals in a more hygienic environment.

You will stay away from potentially lethal ailments. You must be wary of your phone. You are unwittingly transferring organisms from everything you touch to your phone’s touchscreen or keypad.

This then constantly rubs off your chin and cheek, sometimes getting into very close contact with your mouth. This is a recipe for common viral and bacterial infections, affecting your skin, throat or even deeper organs.

Clean your phone every so often, and handle it with clean hands every time. Home entertainment is great for relaxation.

Many of us watch too much TV, whilst seated and snacking. This is a habit you must tame. Some studies show every hour of watching TV takes away about 22 minutes of your life, escalating downwards to a premature death 5 years earlier.

All this due to long hours of inactivity and related bad habits, with lethal health consequences. It helps to get interested in alternate and more active forms of entertainment.

There are many other habits that appear innocent. Like wearing tight pants, sleeping on your face and being overly pessimistic. Review your habitual rituals every so often, and weed out what may not be necessarily healthy.

Dr Alfred Murage is a Consultant Gynecologist and Fertility Specialist