Student Life

The Truth Behind Some Unhealthy Habits

539wWe all have those bad habits — you know the ones. Ever wonder if they are actually doing you any serious harm? Here are the top habits that you should think about dropping.

  1. Reusing a dish sponge. Although it may seem fine, that sponge in your sink is filled with germs. Yuck. Think about it — you use that sponge to soak up juices from raw meats and only rinse it quickly, that’s not cleaning it. If your sponge is used to not only to clean dishes but also to clean off countertops, you may be spreading those germs around! Keep things clean and run the sponge through a microwave for 1 to 2 minutes, or toss it in the dishwasher at least once a week.
  2. Crossing the street and texting. It’s not as harmless as you think. A recent study showed that people who crossed the road while engrossed in their phones were four times less likely to look before they stepped in to the street. Keep this habit up and you could be roadkill.
  3. Weighing in. Weighing yourself once a day in the morning is a great way to track your weight and watch for weight gain. But weighing yourself more than once a day is unnecessary and doesn’t actually help you lose weight. Limit your weigh-ins to once a day and stay trim (and sane).
  4. Sitting on the toilet seat in public restrooms. We’ve all done it, and afterwards you fear you might catch a disease and wish you had just squatted. No need to change this habit — sitting on a public toilet seat is the cleanest thing in the entire bathroom to touch, according to several studies.
  5. You take pain relievers like candy. If you have pain, you take a pill to make it go away. But taking pills too often can damage your liver, stomach, or kidneys. For those with frequent migraines, taking pain relievers 2 or 3 times a week may actually reverse the pain-relieving process and cause more headaches.
  6. Eating and multi-tasking. If you find yourself eating while looking at a computer or TV, you may tend to overeat, researchers say. Studies have shown that if we eat while we’re distracted, we tend not to remember what we just put in our mouths. That lack of memory blocks any satiety that is associated with food, causing us to not feel full. So next time you eat, try to turn away from that screen and savor those bites.
  7. Skipping the pill. It won’t kill you, but it could get you pregnant. Out of 100 women who use the pill, between 2 and 9 become pregnant each year due to errors like forgetting a pill or starting a pack late. To keep on track, take a forgotten pill as soon as you remember. If you miss two in a row, take two pills for two days, and use a backup contraceptive!

By Aisling Williams

Image courtesy of