Wed, Dec 04, 2013 - Page 11 News List

Top 10 habits that make you susceptible to sickness
致病十惡習 久坐久站最常犯

A doctor poses with a patient wearing a neck brace after injuring her neck from looking down at her smartphone too often at a hospital in Greater Tainan on Dec. 25 last year.

Photo: Meng Ching-tzu, Liberty Times

Being sedentary, not drinking enough water and staying up late at night are just a few of the 10 worst habits that can make you susceptible to falling ill. How many do you have? The results of the latest version of a national survey on people’s living habits show that 20-somethings in Taiwan have the worst living habits of all, including staying up late, being sedentary, eating foods with high caloric content, regularly keeping their heads down to look at electronic devices and using computer devices in bed before falling asleep.

Chen Liang-kung, director of the Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology at Taipei Veterans General Hospital, says that such poor living habits can increase one’s risk of cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders, neck and spine disorders and mental deterioration. Chen recommends changing bad habits while you are still young, like setting an alarm clock to remind you to stand up and move around for three to five minutes every hour, putting your cellphone far away during sleep, and limiting the amount of high-calorie foods you eat.

A health magazine published by cable news station TVBS conducted the survey by telephone in October, interviewing 1,092 people over the age of 15.

The survey found that the number one bad habit among Taiwanese is being sedentary and standing too long, with around 72 percent of respondents saying they have this problem. Drinking less than a liter of water every day came in at second (33 percent), followed by habitually putting one’s cellphone next to the pillow while sleeping (33 percent), not exercising (30 percent), often lowering one’s head to use an electronic device like a cellphone or tablet computer (30 percent), drinking at least one sugary drink every day (30 percent), frequently crossing one’s legs (30 percent), eating high calorie foods at least twice a week (25 percent), using a mobile device like a cellphone or tablet computer in bed before sleep (24 percent), and sleeping less than six hours every night (21 percent) respectively.

Getting inadequate sleep for an extended period of time affects the autonomic nervous system and can lead to high blood pressure, as well as increasing one’s risk of high stress and irregular heartbeat, Chen says. People who get less than six hours of sleep every night should try going to bed 15 minutes earlier and taking afternoon naps for 30 minutes.

To get rid of these bad habits which can lead to illness, Chen recommends taking a gradual approach to change. For example, people who do not exercise at all can try getting off the bus one or two stops earlier. People who drink sugary drinks every day can try taking half the amount of sugar instead of the full amount, and eventually no sugar. People who do not drink enough water should force themselves to drink 500cc of water right after waking up, and again in the morning and in the afternoon, he says.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)





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