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Surprising Things that Could Shorten Your Life

Oct. 9, 2014
What you are doing this very minute could decrease your life span!

Are you sitting down for this news? If so, stand up and move!

New research has shown that sitting down for extended periods a day could be as harmful to your health as smoking. This means that the average 9-5 worker could be shortening his or her life simply by sitting in a cubicle.

“When it comes to living a long, healthy life, most people know the basics such as don’t smoke and get enough exercise. However, that’s just the start of the story,” says Robert Palmer, CEO of PotentiaMED, an analytics firm that helps support personalized, value-based medicine.

According to Palmer, here are the surprising things that could shorten your life:

Not drinking enough water: We all know that water makes you look good and feel good, but Palmer says, “Drinking water is key when it comes to flushing out your body. It’s one of the most important ways to keep your kidneys and your prostate functioning properly.”

Being a night owl: Research has shown that people who work the night shift have a myriad of health risks. Palmer says, “With our database at PotentiaMED, we are able to weigh the risk factors that come with certain health conditions. One surprising risk factor for breast cancer is working the night shift. Doctors theorize it could be the stress, lack of sleep or simply an off-kilter circadian rhythm.”

Getting cancer treatment: “It sounds counter-intuitive, but research has shown that invasive cancer treatments can actually take a few years off a person’s life. This doesn’t mean that cancer treatment isn’t worth it, but side effects, adverse effects and potential for the development of additional cancers after cancer treatment is something to think about and discuss with your doctor when thinking about cancer treatment,” says Palmer.

Not flossing: Flossing doesn’t just give you pearly whites. It also helps to remove bacteria from your teeth, bacteria that can grow and lead to potential life-threatening issues like heart disease.

Not having kids: Again, hard to believe! “People often think that stressing about their children gives them gray hairs and takes years off their life, but actually it’s the other way around. People with children live longer, healthier lives, and women who have children and breastfeed have lower incidences of breast cancer and ovarian cancer,” says Palmer.

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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