9 Everyday Habits That May Be Making You Sick

by Erica Florentine

Being truly healthy for ourselves (whatever that means to you as an individual) at all times is far harder than it seems. Sometimes even "healthy" habits turn out to be unhealthy. Some people may believe they're the epitome of health because they're excellent at maintaining their vitamin intake and exercise routine. However, many don't realize that they, too, have habits that put them at risk for sickness.

For instance, are you religious with your morning runs to boost your immune system, but also bite your nails regularly? Seemingly little things like biting your nails can actually be opening yourself up to illness. I mean, consider the amount of germs on your hands at any given time in the day. As a former nail biter myself, it makes me cringe just to think about it, but I also know how hard it can be to kick the habit. We all have things we do each day that come as second nature, but can actually be the cause of harm to our bodies. While it's impractical to say we're going to be healthy every minute of every day, we can at least try our very best to omit these habits and live healthier lives. Here are nine everyday habits that could possibly be making you sick.

1. Skipping Breakfast

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Mornings are chaotic. I love getting as many extra minutes of sleep as possible, so it’s more than likely I’m rushing around instead of taking the necessary time to eat a wholesome breakfast. Even for those who aren’t incredibly busy in the morning, many times people skip breakfast as a weight loss tactic, as it’s a meal that might seem incredibly easy to go without for those who don’t tend to feel hungry in the morning. However, according to WebMD, breakfast is so vital for our health.

Eating in the morning helps us perform our best throughout the day, fight off hunger, and better manage our weight — in turn, making us healthier beings. Also, according to various studies reported on by Business Insider, skipping breakfast can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, according to a study published by the American Heart Association journal Circulation.

2. Biting Your Nails

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After skipping breakfast, you get to work and you’re reading through the endless emails of immediate action items, and catch yourself biting your nails with nervousness. Especially if you just rode the subway or some other form of public transportation infested with germs, think about how gross this could be. Want to hear a quick horror story? I once got Coxsackie Virus from accidently putting my hand in my mouth after holding on to the bars on the subway. Haven’t heard of this virus? Look it up here. It’s horrible. According to Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth on her website, biting your nails is completely unsanitary, and leaves you open to all sorts of bacteria, viruses and infections. It’s also really bad for your teeth.

3. Forgetting To Hydrate

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Water is 100 percent necessary for your survival. If you’re not drinking roughly eight 8-ounce glasses per day, you’re not getting enough water. According to, getting enough fluids can actually prevent cancer, help you to lose weight, have less joint pain, and prevent headaches. All excellent reasons to bring a water bottle with you everywhere you go.

4. Flaking On Your Flu Shot

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Opting out of important health exams and vaccines can lead you down a very scary road in terms of your overall health. The flu shot is one that is seemingly very simple to skip, but you’ll be seriously thanking yourself later if you get it. Also, did you know every time you come down with the flu it releases chemicals that damage blood vessels? According to Prevention, this may ultimately increase the risk of heart disease later in life.

5. Taking On Too Much

By taking on too many things, we can cause ourselves quite a bit of stress. Stress is killer… literally. According to WebMD, stress and excessive worrying can lead to all sorts of health issues, including headaches, nausea, muscle aches, shortness of breath, depression and even heart attacks. What should you do? Stop stressing — especially over the little things. Here are some scientifically proven ways to relieve stress.

6. Eating At Your Desk

First, let’s quickly revisit the dirty hands things. You’re typing on your keyboard which is likely covered in germs, according to the Wall Street Journal, and then putting food into your mouth. So nasty. If you don’t want to ingest any of these germs, eat somewhere away from your desk, and remember to clean your hands before putting anything into your mouth.

7. Smoking

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At this point, we all know that smoking cigarettes is horrible for us (and for those around us). However, did you realize that smoking also weakens the immune system, according to doctors on This means your body is now more susceptible to diseases. Additionally, smoking may cause the immune system to attack lung tissue, enhancing chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) — a respiratory condition that is incurable. Oh, so many reasons to avoid cigarettes.

8. Neglecting To Change Your Sheets

It’s so simple to forget to change your sheets, especially when you don’t get to spend much time at home between your work and social life. Keep this gross thing in mind, though: Dust mites love the environment posed by your bed. It’s warm and dark, which is the perfect breeding ground for dust mites, according to the Daily Mail. According to the news outlet, while dust mites themselves are harmless, their droppings and body fragments can cause colds and trigger asthma. Having an army of them in your bed is completely avoidable, though. Change your sheets at least once a week, and when you wash them use hot water.

9. Not Getting Enough Sleep

Many of us will agree to loving sleep, while many of us will also agree to the fact that we simply can’t get enough of it. According to, 48 percent of Americans say they don’t get enough sleep. We should be getting between seven and nine hours a night for health’s sake, according to What if you don’t get enough? According to, this drastically decreases your energy levels and — get this — makes you more susceptible to illness due to your cells to regenerate to their best ability.

By changing some of these daily habits, we can quickly find ourselves leading a far healthier life. Our bodies and our minds will be happy we did.