Humans have naturally obtained bad habits throughout time, some more deadly than others. Smoking is most often thought of to be the worst and most deadly habit to have, but nobody talks about these everyday things that are just as deadly.

While cigarette smoking is one of the worst habits a person can have, there are other things just as bad that nobody talks about. They say that each cigarette you smoke takes 11 minutes off your life. A smoker inevitably faces COPD (chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), heart disease, and high risks of lung cancer – but that’s not the only bad habit people have. Most people don’t even think about these habits as being highly lethal to people, but they actually are. While the rate of American people who die from smoking have decreased from 42% in 1965 to 15% in 2015. But since that decrease, researchers say you need to worry about these things now instead!

1. Loneliness

Yeah, we all hate being lonely, but you probably didn’t know that it can be deadly. Loneliness is a growing problem in America due to the growth of social media and materialistic standards. Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has labeled loneliness as a worldwide epidemic. He even stated that it could be lethal. Other research has found that loneliness reduces people’s lifespan by the equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

In an interview about his Harvard Business Review with Forbes, Murthy says:

Dan Schawbel: Based on your recent HBR article, why do you think we’re experiencing a loneliness epidemic right now and how it is impacting the workplace?

Vivek Murthy: We live in the most technologically connected age in the history of civilization, yet rates of loneliness are increasing. This trend has been taking place for years yet we are only just recognizing its magnitude and impact. There are at least several factors at work.

2. Sitting

We all do a lot of sitting these days, that’s for sure. While sitting seems like one of the most harmless things to do, it actually has proven to be very dangerous. Perhaps a direct side effect of all of us having to work desk jobs these days, we are unable to get the adequate amount of physical activity to be healthy. A 2014 study found that sitting all day increases your risk for a variety of different cancers by 66%!  Each two-hour increase in sitting time raised people’s risk for colon, endometrial, and lung cancers.

3. Sleep Loss

Insomnia is a growing problem in America as people are staying up later than ever. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention have labeled sleep deprivation a public health problem. There are approximately 50 to 70 million people suffer from it. The World Health Organization (WHO) said that insufficient sleep raises the risk of stroke and heart attack similar to degrees as regularly smoking cigarettes in 2015.

4. Tanning

I’m pretty sure everyone should know that tanning is dangerous. Indoor tanning might be thought to be safer than smoking or outdoor tanning, but there are actually a lot of ways it is more dangerous. 2014, researchers published a study in JAMA that found indoor tanning alone led to more cases of skin cancer than smoking did with lung cancer.

“Given the large number of skin cancer cases attributable to indoor tanning, these findings highlight a major public health issue,” the investigators wrote.

Those who think they are lucky for being able to survive on a small amount of sleep might not be as lucky as they think they are. In fact, Professor Russel Foster, a Neuroscientist at the University of Oxford says laid back sleeping is damaging the nation. He says there are too many early risers trying to function with a brain deprived of sleep and is comparable to someone working while drunk.

5. Poor Diet

Poor diet is among some of the most dangerous habits to have. We are what we eat and our food is fuel for our bodies. Many studies show that sugary products and processed foods are terrible for us. foods high in saturated fats can expose people to potentially fatal diseases at similar, if not greater, rates than smoking. In 2016, researchers studying the mortality risks from poor diet concluded the death rates exceeded those of alcohol, drugs, unprotected sex, and tobacco combined.

6. Alcohol

Alcohol has been compared to cigarette smoking for some time now. Many people even believe that alcohol should have a similar warning label as cigarettes. Alcohol kills some 83,000 people a year and many people argue that it is more dangerous than smoking. There are an interesting 137 hospital admissions for alcohol as opposed to 61 for smoking.


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