Our daily habits may not be as innocent as they seem. Let take a look at some common habits and what they are actually doing to our bodies. Are you at risk?
1. Crossing your legs: Sitting with legs crossed at the knee can increase blood pressure. This also puts stress on hip joints and can cause pooling of blood in legs when veins are compressed and can lead to inflammation of the veins and blood clots. To combat this, don’t cross your legs for longer than 10-15 mins at a time. Get up and walk around about every half hour.
2. Standing with locked knees: locking your knees increases stress on the knee joint. When you stand this way you aren’t using the muscles around the joint properly and force to the joint increases. Instead, try to stand with knees slightly bent instead to activate the surrounding muscles.
3. Sleeping on your stomach: this position puts your neck in a tilted-back position and can lead to pain/numbness in your arms because the nerves are being compressed. Try to change your sleeping position so that your neck is not tilted backwards.
4. Wearing your belts tight: This habit can create intra-abdominal pressure, which can result in acid reflux and lead to GERD. Symptoms of GERD can range from something as small as a bitter taste in the mouth, to a burning or pain in the chest or upper stomach region, chronic cough, or even difficulty swallowing. You should wear your belt no tighter than the waistband of your pants. You should be able to inhale and exhale comfortably when the belt is tightened.
5. You don’t go to the bathroom when you need to: Delaying using the bathroom for prolonged periods of time, can put you at risk for urinary tract infections. Bacteria in the urine can multiply very quickly, so holding urine for prolonged periods can lead to infections. So use the bathroom when you need to and try not to wait until a more convenient time.
6. Carrying your purse the same way every day: This bad habit can result in muscular imbalances and shoulder pain. All repetitive activities require the development of muscles to support the movement pattern. This can create significant muscle imbalances that result in injury or chronic pain. To combat this damage, try alternating with the opposite shoulder or lighten up your baggage.