Everyday people perform a variety of common tasks that seem normal.
Many of these everyday things are actually hurting us.
From disrupting our natural rhythm and health to creating harmful toxins that damage the environment and air we breathe, here is a list of seven everyday things that are actually harmful.
1. Alarm Clocks
Alarm clocks are the first thing many people see and hear in the morning. Widespread alarm clock use might be necessary to get to work on time, however, it has negative consequences for our health. German researcher Till Roenneberg studied 65,000 adults who used alarm clocks and determined that they suffered from something he calls “social jet lag.”
The Smithsonian magazine published an article on Roenneberg’s work, demonstrating that alarm clocks wake people up right in the middle of their sleep cycle. Roenneberg also explains his theory in his book, Internal Time: Chronotypes, Social Jet Lag, and Why You’re So Tired.
2. Mowing Your Lawn
According to information provided by the American Chemical Society, the air pollution emitted from a lawn mower in one hour is nearly the same as what a typically car expels over the course of a 100 mile trip.
An Australian study determined that lawn mowers contributed to just over 11% of the pollutants dumped into the atmosphere by combustion engine-driven machines in the area of the study.
Lawn mowers don’t have to meet the same standards as combustion-engine vehicles. In the end, the most environmentally friendly method of lawn mowing is a traditional push reel mower. Using a manual mower is also better for your health!
3. Flip-Flop Sandals
Flip-flops are popular everywhere in the summer. Treat them as a type of temporary footwear or avoid them all together. The Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association recently published a study that discusses the biomechanical changes and adaptations the body undergoes to accommodate for a flip-flop footwear gait pattern.
They change the way you walk. The result is an increased change of knee problems, shin stress, and muscle soreness in your back. The long-term effects of extended flip-flop wear have not been studied. Still, wear them sparingly.
In general, sedentary people do not live as long as individuals who are active. Sitting around is one of the most common contributors to a short life span. One recent analysis showed that the amount of time spent sitting is directly related to an increased change of mortality from all causes studied, including cancer and cardiovascular disease. Get up and move around! Exercise frequently, especially if you have a job where you sit all day.
5. Wearing a Backpack
Backpacks cause damage—particularly in children. Just a few books can load up a backpack with over 20% or more of a child’s body weight. A study that used emergency room records to determine the injury risks associated with backpacks determined that back problems were the 6th most common reason children visited the emergency room. Of the back injuries studied, 59% were the result of carrying a backpack. Pay careful attention to how much weight your child is carrying on their back.
6. Cheap Sunglasses
Time Magazine ran an article that discusses the importance of purchasing sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection. If you want protection from the sun, UVA and UVB filters are important elements of sunglasses. According to Dr. Wayne Bizer and the Time Magazine article, it’s healthier to not wear sunglasses at all if price is an option.
Less expensive sunglasses don’t often provide adequate UV protection. They still filter the brightness of light. The problem is that you don’t squint when wearing sunglasses. Normally, your squint will protect your eyes. Without a UV filter, cheap sunglasses can let more harmful wavelengths of light into your eyes than if you weren’t wearing sunglasses at all.
7. Burning Candles
There are two problems with candles. You know about the first problem—fire hazard. According to the U.S. Fire Administration candles are one of the most frequent sources of fires.
The second problem are the pollutants in the aroma from scented candles. One study identified indoor candles as a powerful source of indoor air pollutants. There are limited regulations on what can go into candles. Think twice about lighting something that could negatively impact indoor air quality.