We’re all gonna die.
Yes, that’s the reality.
But certain mundane things we do every day may actually be helping us get there faster.
These everyday habits may seem less obvious, but can have similar affects to our lifespan.
These surprising habits may be things you don’t even think twice about, but they do play a role in our longevity.
Sitting Too Much
If you are sat at your desk for eight hours a day and turn into a couch potato the minute you get home, you could be playing fast and loose with death.
Apparently, sitting for more than three hours a day could shave two whole years off your life.
What can you do?
Adults aged 19 to 64 are advised to try to sit down less throughout the day, including at work, when travelling and at home.
Tips to reduce sitting time:
Stand on the train or bus
Take the stairs and walk up escalators
Set a reminder to get up every 30 minutes
Place a laptop on a box or similar to work standing
Stand or walk around while on the phone
Take a walk break every time you take a coffee or tea break
Walk to a colleague’s desk instead of emailing or calling
Swap some TV time for more active tasks or hobbies
Sleeping Too Much – And Too Little
Most of us sleeping beauties out there love our shut-eye, but too much sleep isn’t that good for you – the same goes for not getting enough sleep.
Harvard research found that lifespan can significantly decrease in those who average less than five or more than nine hours a night.
You’re also likely to be more irritable in the office the next day, and nobody likes that person.
The key is to get the “sweet spot”, around seven to eight hours a night.
Having a hard time getting to sleep? Here’s what you can do.
Go to sleep at the same time each night, and get up at the same time each morning, even on the weekends.
Don’t take naps after 3 p.m, and don’t nap longer than 20 minutes.
Stay away from caffeine and alcohol late in the day.
Avoid nicotine completely.
Get regular exercise, but not within 2-3 hours of bedtime.
Don’t eat a heavy meal late in the day.
A light snack before bedtime is OK.
Make your bedroom comfortable, dark, quiet, and not too warm or cold.
Follow a routine to help you relax before sleep (for example, reading or listening to music).
Turn off the TV and other screens at least an hour before bedtime.
Don’t lie in bed awake.
If you can’t fall asleep after 20 minutes, do something calming until you feel sleepy, like reading or listening to soft music.
Talk with a doctor if you continue to have trouble sleeping.
Not Drinking Enough Water
Keeping hydrated is crucial for health and well-being, but many people do not consume enough fluids each day.
Around 60 percent of the body is made up of water, and around 71 percent of the planet’s surface is covered by water.
Perhaps it is the ubiquitous nature of water that means drinking enough each day is not at the top of many people’s lists of priorities.
To function properly, all the cells and organs of the body need water.
Hate drinking water? Here’s what you can do:
Add some sparkle by trying seltzer or other bubbly water-based drinks.
Flavor it up by adding a chunk of fruit (fresh or frozen), cucumber, or sprigs of mint to plain or sparkling water.
You Have A Long Commute
Commutes of about an hour have been found to increase stress and have been linked to the same negative effects as sitting.
Long commutes also reduce the likelihood that individuals will consistently participate in health-related activities.
The greatest lifespan risk is with female commuters, who were found to have significantly shorter lifespans after consistently commuting for 31 miles or more, according to researchers at Sweden’s Umeå University.
The cause for the dip in female life expectancies has been the topic of much speculation lately, but though the Swedish research was able to link commuting to obesity, insomnia, and a higher rate of divorce, it wasn’t able to pinpoint why female mortality rates are higher.
You Neglect Your Friends
People with weak social connections were found to die at much higher rates than their counterparts, according to research by Brigham Young University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which collected data from 148 different studies.
The same researchers found that prolonged loneliness could be as bad for your lifespan as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
On top of all this, elderly people with large circles of friends were found to be 22 percent less likely to die over a tested study period, and those social connections generally promote brain health in aging brains.
Spend more time with your circle!
Economic And Financial Difficulties
Financial stress can affect anyone, regardless of individual wealth—although obviously that stress is greater for some people than others.
A 2014 study published in BMC Public Health looked at financial stress in late adulthood.
Researchers found that an individual’s financial well-being, which includes lower wealth, unemployment history and reported financial difficulties, may increase the risks of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality, particularly among men.
Nearly everyone stresses about whether they’ve saved enough, invested wisely, losing their nest egg, or outliving their money.
Job loss is another major stressor, especially during the pandemic.
Worrying about having the financial resources to go months without income is overwhelming for many individuals and families.
What you can do?
While you can’t always control the factors that determine whether or not you have financial problems, engaging children in “positive financial socialization early and often” may help with future financial wellness in the next generation, according to a study published in 2018 in the Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning found that children with bank accounts and those whose spending was monitored by parents were “more likely to own financial assets and had more positive attitudes toward personal finance as young adults.”
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