6 Healthy Habits With Huge Downsides (Nobody Talks About)


It takes real willpower to take a healthy activity, like jogging or feeing most of a salad, and make it part of your regular routine. But it’s worth it, right? After all of the struggle and strife, after you’ve given up your fun evils and your more interesting friends, you are able to look in the reflect and seem proud.

Or at least you are able to until you read this article and have found that a bunch of your new “healthy” habits are bullshit, and hear that dignity farting out of you like air from a leaking balloon.



Fitness Trackers May Be Actively Hurting Your Fitness

Fitness trackers keep track of how long you’ve been working out, and your heart rate, and the number of steps you take in a day, all while coming in a conveniently small, conveniently $200 bundle( which you’ll lose in a drawer in a month ). And that is pretty harmless, even useful. Who doesn’t adoration data ? Well, what if the data isn’t accurate? A analyse of a pair of Fitbit products found that they miscalculated heart rates by up to 20 thumps per minute, and that they get worse as the exercising get more intense. You may realise intense exercising as the time when it’s most important for a tracker to get an accurate read, since you don’t actually require that much monitoring when cramming Cheetos in your mouth and shout at Wheel Of Fortune . A other studies received an average error rate of 14 percent — a margin that doesn’t simply induce the product useless, but dangerous to someone who has heart disease and wished to know precisely how much their ticker is ticking.

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14 percent being the difference between a healthy activity and a “go into the light” activity .

OK, but what about their main purpose, reminding you to exercising every day? Yeah, so … another analyse found that while wearing a fitness tracker does induce people take more steps in a day, each step is as begrudging as a child choking down Brussels buds. Exert stops being fun and becomes a chore you hate. And well, that both sucks and is altogether predictable , but isn’t the end result still good? Exert is good for you regardless of whether you like it or not. Except, as you’ve likely now guessed, fitness trackers don’t appear to help you stay fit either. Yet another analyse took 470 overweight young adults and threw them on a low-calorie diet and exercising program. Half self-reported their exercising, while the other half employed a tracker. And the group with the trackers lost less weight.

The issue seems to be that people who appreciate a statistic on how much they exert promptly decides that they deserve a reward, and that told reward should come in the form of chocolate cheesecake. Another prospect is that while trackers motivate you to hit goals, they also discourage you if you fail to hit that goal, which attains it harder to stick to the process. By maintaining the results of exercising nebulous, you don’t have those damaging highs and lows — it’s simply a thing that you do so you don’t die.

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Or so you can attract higher-quality mates .


There’s Next To No Evidence To Support The Benefits Of Flossing

We’ve all urgently flossed on the eve of a dental appointment and watched blood flowing from our mouths like the elevator in The Shining . But all this time, it turns out that we should have been saying “No, because I’m not one of the sheeple enslaved by the siren song of Big Floss propaganda.”

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“Have you been reading Cracked? ”

While the governmental forces used to recommend daily flossing, likely because politicians’ billfolds were stuffed full of bills scented with mint and cinnamon, such recommendations was dropped in 2016, largely because there’s no scientific research that supports the practice. In reality, despite all of the amount claimed about how flossing fightings gum illnes, eradicates plaque, and avoids cavities, the supporting evidence was dubbed “weak, ” “very unreliable, ” of “very low” quality, and is accessible to “a moderate to large possibilities for bias” by Uncle Sam, who hasn’t flossed since 1931 and is get along fine.

Almost every analyse on floss has been funded by the companies that fabricate it, and they’ve been about as rigorous in their methods as a remedial junior high science class, littering their studies with sample sizes that were too small or that took place over too short a time periods. One analyse reached a conclusion about the awesome power of flossing after its themes flossed once . And outside of manufacturer-funded studies, the social sciences simply isn’t there. Now, it would be irresponsible of us be asserted that Johnson& Johnson thugs ought to have muzzling scientists with research quarrelling them.

So we’ll simply suggest it instead.

All of this doesn’t mean that flossing is bad for you. More rigorous research may prove that it helps, and if nothing else, it’s great for getting rid of that one piece of popcorn that got stuck in your teeth five minutes into a 183 -minute movie. But don’t feel bad or let anyone give you shit if you happen to go without it for a few periods. Your mouth isn’t going to devolve into a plaque-filled wasteland.


Standing Desks Totally Work … In Conjunction With Exercise

America is a proud nation of sitters. We sit in our autoes, on our lounges, at saloons, at the sitsateria, all of them.

But it’s at the agency where sitting hittings hardest — eight hours a day of nerves getting pinched, cardiovascular difficulties developing, bodily fluids clotting, and your body generally becoming flabby and useless, all while you work on a spreadsheet that organizes all of your other spreadsheets. That’s why standing desks had now become chic. If you stand while working, your body will be immune to all of the problems caused by sitting! Logic .

According to scientists who pored through 16 years of health data on over 5,000 people, how and how often you sit is far less important than the activities you do when you’re not sitting. The sands of hour don’t start falling faster when you’re plunked in a chair, and “sitting time was not associated with all-cause mortality risk.” Sitting isn’t inherently the issue; the problem is that after work is done, instead of going to the gym and feeing a healthy dinner, we have a tendency to order pizza and zone out in front of Frasier .

It’s being stationary that’s bad for us, regardless of what that stationary posture looks like. Far healthier to simply sit comfortably while working and then do some actual exercising, as to report to standing in the hopes that will keep the Grim Reaper away with no other lifestyle changes. So you either need to find a way to work at an exercise bike desk, certain kinds of knife-fighting desk, or The Desk Of Agony. Or you are able cut 45 minutes from your weekly TV regime in favor of some rec league basketball.

Whatever’s easiest.


Genetic Testing For Future Health Problems Is All But Useless

As anyone who’s skimmed the trailer for Gattaca knows, your life is basically hardwired into your genetic code. Maybe you’re a genius Adonis who will change the world, or maybe you’ll drop dead at 37 after a career in the custodial arts. And now, thanks to the miracle of modern engineering, anyone with some spare fund can get a scientific analysis of their DNA to be determined what will probably end up killing them.

Companies like 23 andMe, deCODE Genetics, Gene Planet, Gene Biohackman, and others will let you send them bodily fluids — preferably the ones they requested — and return a report on illness you’re at risk for, how you’ll react to certain drugs, and other fun details. But what they’re best at testing is whether you’re gullible enough to fork over a pair hundred bucks in exchange for consulting a Swami machine with laboratory access.

The trouble is twofold. First, the human genome is incredibly complicated, and while our knowledge of it is significantly better than when we imagined all illness were caused by humors and ghosts, we’re not at the phase where we can read it like an instruction manual. So when genetic testing corporations devote specific dietary advice like “drink apple juice daily” or “jog more instead of lifting weights, ” they’re drawing those suggestions straight out of “their ass.” These steps might improve your health if you were previously drinking vodka for breakfast and getting your only exercising by lifting the bottle, but they didn’t discover a cheat code in your DNA that they are able to induce you a superhuman. Eating healthy and exerting is a very good mind no matter what your genome looks like.

The other issue is that we suck at understanding peril. Having a gene that attains you prone to skin cancer doesn’t mean much if you shun the sunshine like a vampire. Meanwhile, your friend who’s on a first-name basis with everyone at the tanning parlour is likely going to be at a greater peril, even if there’s nothing in their genes to suggest it. Unless you drew the marked sheet of paper in the genetic lottery, how you live has more of an impact on their own lives than your genes. And even if you are susceptible to an illness like ALS or cystic fibrosis, being told to feed more sunflower petroleum isn’t going to change that.

But we don’t pay corporations with sciencey paintings on their websites for long essays about how the human body is complicated and genetics is still a relatively young realm; we pay them to tell us what kind of tea will induce us immortal. The bigger issue, as Gizmodo points out, is that people who use these services take the wrong lessons away. They quote one example of a cardiologist whose patient turned away nerve medication because their DNA test said to avoid it. So please don’t pay some sketchy company a bunch of fund to tell you what you should eat — simply, you know, try feeing better.


Workplace Wellness Programs Are Great … If You’re Already Healthy

Workplace wellness programs are based on the notion that if your employer spends a little fund to help you catch a looming illnes before it gets serious or change an unhealthy habit before it induces a bigger trouble, they’ll save a lot of money by avoiding lost hour and insurance allegations down the line. It sounds like it attains perfect sense, but like that time we thought it would be a great mind to fill the Cracked office pool with vermouth, reality is a lot more complicated.

Wellness programs vary between corporations, but they generally involve employees getting their blood pressure, BMI, blood sugar, cholesterol, and other dimensions measured, then lifestyle advice tailored for employees based on those measures. While fostering businesses to have these programs, the government doesn’t oversee them in any way at all, meaning companies can do just about anything they want and call it a wellness program.

For starters, some corporations, like Safeway, punish employees who don’t pass the tests with increased health premiums, becoming an idea that’s supposed to save money for everyone into one that bolt employees for having health issues that may very well be beyond their control. Do you have a preexisting medical situation and are looking for a new job? You can legally be boned by your company’s health insurance, to the tune of thousands of dollars.

The programs have other difficulties too, like the fact that their advice is often simplistic to the point of being useless. Even worse, they are likely get basic health knowledge flat-out wrong — Slate’s look at the issue received examples of wellness programs peddling dumb myths about BMI and saturated fat. BMI is a rough measurement, but some wellness programs treat it like gospel … and then use it as an excuse to raise premiums.

Screenings of healthy people can also generate false alarms that do more impairment than good. And some of the more expensive illness to treat, like MS or Crohn’s disease, kind of simply happen and can’t be solved by your employer telling you to eat more broccoli. Oh, and most major illness generally don’t strike until after people retire anyway, even if they haven’t updated their frat lifestyle in decades.

So to sum up, wellness difficulties absolutely do accomplish their purpose of saving corporations fund, but they don’t do it by preempting the need for expensive therapies — they do it by making you pay instead.

Just something be taken into consideration the next time you get weighed before a budget meeting.


AA Doesn’t Have A Very Good Success Rate

Alcoholics Anonymous is easily the most famous booze recovery program in America, but you might be surprised to learn that they’re ranked the 38 th most effective of 48 methods in the authoritative Handbook of Alcoholism Treatment Methods. So they’re like the Transformers movies of alcohol addiction — inexplicably popular despite lingering low quality.

Addiction is a complicated brute, and if AA has helped you or someone you know, that’s great; they definitely do help some people. But AA was founded in 1935 on definitely non-scientific principles, and the program hasn’t been updated with anything we’ve since learned about the human brain. It’s patently hard to study an anonymous organisation like AA , no matter how many false mustaches you hire, but one estimation threw their success rate at between 5 and 8 percent.

AA, meanwhile, claims a 75 percent success rate and highlights the fact that anyone who fails in their system doesn’t have enough firmnes. Which itself is a instead sinister statement. Imagine that you’re an alcoholic and you know you need help, and you enter a famous and successful program, but you still can’t kick your booze habit, and they explicitly tell you that it was you who failed , not them. How do you think someone who already has a booze trouble will react to the revelation that they’re a “failure”?

AA cornered world markets by being first, and has been cruising on that initial success ever since. But their support groups are run by people with no professional training, their famous 12 Steps don’t take into account mental health issues issues, and they inaccurately view alcoholism as something you either have or don’t have, despite modern science treating it as a spectrum. We now know that some people need to quit entirely, while other heavy drinkers might not be dependent on booze and can, with help, successfully change their habits to that of a light social drinker. But AA positions drinking one Coors Light at your buddy’s BBQ the same as drinking an entire bottle of scotch while playing Russian Roulette with the feline — a comparison which can devastate members when they “relapse” with a glass of wine at dinner.

Modern data was of the view that what works best is medication and cognitive behavior therapy provided by qualified doctors , not the AA’s spiritual approach based on ideas their founder had on a hospital bed in the ‘3 0s. AA is right when they call alcohol dependence an illness instead of a moral failing, but they’ve ignored every scientific breakthrough about how the brain is responding to booze in favor of a system of promises, lecturings, and little trophies.

Mark is on Twitter and has a book with no known health benefits .

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