These Bad Habits May Be What Kills You

When it comes to forming healthy habits, no one is perfect. We all have our vices, some of which are more harmless than other. But on the flip side, there are some potentially deadly tendencies that don’t seem like a big deal. And you’re probably guilty of one or two of them yourself.

We all know smoking cigarettes and eating a poor diet is bad for your health, but these seemingly harmless habits could actually end up killing you.

Not getting enough sleep

insomnia. young beard man lying

Sleep is vital to our waking life. | Klebercordeiro/iStock/Getty Images

Nearly half of Americans are chronically sleep deprived, which wreaks havoc on their bodies and minds. The sleep deprived among us make worse (and potentially deadly) decisions and have less focus, which can be fatal.

Next: Speak your mind. Your life could depend on it.

Keeping your emotions bottled up

Businessmen arguing

Be honest about how you feel, and express yourself in a healthy way. | Fizkes/iStock/Getty Images

Many of us are guilty of holding in our anger or sadness, but you need to find a healthy outlet for your emotions. A recent University of Boston study showed that people who bottle up their feelings are 48% more likely to have some sort of heart disease or complication.

Next: Britney Spears once sang that this was killing her, but it actually can have deadly consequences. 

Loneliness

Hopeless man sitting on the sofa and thinking

Being alone is never fun. | KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock/Getty Images

While spending some time alone is actually beneficial, the feeling of loneliness is terrible for your health. It can weaken your immune system, increase your dementia risk, and send you to an early grave. You don’t have to be an all-out extrovert, but having some contact with friends or family is essential.

Next: Oh, the dangers of a desk job. 

Sitting

Chair, table, laptop

Take regular breaks or look into a standing desk. | Vadimguzhva/iStock/Getty Images

Statistically, sitting all day long is almost as bad for your health as smoking. Not only does it make it all too easy to be out of shape, it actually increases your risk of several cancers, a 2014 study found. Each two hour increase in sitting time upped people’s risks for colon, endometrial, and lung cancers, regardless of whether they still exercised during the day.

Of course, many of us can’t avoid having desk jobs, but we can get up and stretch regularly or invest in a standing desk.

Next: You should really know not to do this by now.

Texting and driving

family riding in a car

Have your co-pilot send texts for you. | Solovyova/iStock/Getty Images

You’d think by now the dire warnings and pictures of mangled cars would keep people from using their smartphones while driving, but it’s still an all too common habit. And it’s a very deadly habit at that — it’s as dangerous as driving while intoxicated, in fact.

Next: Break free from the bacon (sorry).

Eating processed meats

Becan and Sausages

These are full of cancer-causing chemicals. | Beats3/iStock/Getty Images

Decades worth of research has shown us that the chemicals used in bacon cause cancer. All processed meats, from sausage to deli meat and hot dogs, carry a cancer risk. And considering how common these foods are in the American diet, it’s way too easy to overindulge.

Next: This unavoidable habit can be as risky as smoking cigarettes.

Cleaning

Woman cleans a glass table with a spray

Be mindful of what products you use. Some are toxic. | Jovanmandic/iStock/Getty Images

Recently, scientists at Norway’s University of Bergen tracked 6,000 people who used cleaning products regularly over two decades and found that people who cleaned frequently (like professional housekeepers) had weaker, more damaged lungs than those who didn’t.

Of course, it’s not the cleaning itself that is a bad habit, but the unsafe products. To minimize the risk to your health, try to clean with windows open, use natural products, or make your own.

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