There are many ways to cut corners in an effort to do more in less time. Some of these shortcuts however, can shortchange your health as well. Here are six common time-savers that you should think twice about continuing.
1. Using the Drive-Through Pharmacy
Drive-through pharmacies are convenient, but you lose the opportunity to talk to a pharmacist which can result in very negative consequences. There isn’t time to ask about side effects, generic options, and what to do if you miss a dose. According to a recent study, distractions associated with window service contribute to more than two million medication mistakes per year. If you have questions, skip the drive-through.
2. Running Straight to the shower after a Work Out
Typically everyone has somewhere to rush off to after the gym, but taking a few extra minutes will really help your body recover. “When you abruptly end a cardio session, your heart rate plummets and blood pools in your large leg muscles, which can make you feel light-headed,” says exercise physiologist Kara Mohr, PhD. It takes about three minutes of cooling down for your blood flow and body temperature to return to normal. Even if you’re in a hurry – take the few extra minutes to let your body recover.
3. Sleeping in your Contacts
Unlike most tissues in the body, the cornea has to get nourishment directly from the air. This is hard to do when your eyes are covered by contacts. During the day, it’s not so bad because your eyes are open and blinking, so oxygen can still pass through and get to the cornea. The problem is that at night your eyes are closed so the lid plus the contact ends up suffocating the cornea and can cause serious infections, scars, or even warp your corneas. If you do occasionally nod off with lenses in, remove them right away in the morning and clean them with disinfecting solution & wear glasses for the next 24 hours to increase air flow.
4. Eating Lunch at your Desk
Little would you know, but your desk may be crawling with over 400 times more bacteria than an average toilet seat according to a 2007 University of Arizona study. It’s no surprise when you hear that a third of women rarely or never clean their work space, as a recent survey unveiled in Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Any productivity that eating while working gains may be lost when you miss work because of a bacterial illness. Sanitizing your space with alcohol wipes or disinfectant spray if you must eat there is best advised.
5. Shopping or Browsing Online at Night
According to the National Sleep foundation about 60% of Americans stare at computer screens late at night. Most people between 20 and 40 years old need seven to nine hours of sleep per night; however technology is interfering with that. “The artificial light from computers, smartphones, and tablets decreases melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleepiness” says Leslie Swanson, PhD, a sleep specialist at University of Michigan. To get away from this, log off an hour before bed and spend that time doing something relaxing like reading.
6. Texting Rather than Talking
When you’re busy, one of the first things people cut back on is spending time with friends. Friendships become less personal and more efficiency based through text messages. Maintaining close, inter-personal relationships though, can have a huge impact on your health. One study done at UCSD showed that women who were at high risk for developing heart disease lowered their odds if they had larger social connections. It’s crucial to carve out time to converse, preferably face-to-face with those who matter most to you.
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