How Risky These Everyday Habits Are To Your Health

Keep a tidy space and enjoy the health benefits that come with it!

Sidima Mfeku |

Every now and then food sits on the counter all night and sheets don’t get changed. But how germy does that make your life, really? Jessica Migala gets the facts on how risky your habits are to your health.

Pizza Left Out All Night

Pizza crust is dry, its sauce is acidic and pepperoni and sausage are preservatives-laden – all things that don’t support bacterial survival, says Fraser. Different story if you had spinach and tomatoes. Moisture-rich toppings tend to breed microscobes that gang up and fell you (diarrhoea and vomiting). Best to refrigerate pizza within four hours before bacteria have the chance to go wild.


Related: 5 Habits That Will Stop You From Losing Those Last 5 Kilos

You Wash Your Coffee Cup Once A Week

If you take your java back you’re in luck! “Coffee has antimicrobial properties and it does not contain the nutrients bacteria need to multiply, says Dr Angela Fraser, a food safety professor at Clemson University.Those nutrients? Protein and sugar – which means milk and sugar. If your lips deposit bacteria that would combine with milk residue, you could give birth to millions of germs. limit the chance: wash the mug every time.


You Use The Same Dish Cloth Till It Stinks

That odour is a telltale sign of a bonafide science experiment. By the time something smells, “it has million of organisms growing inside”, says Reynolds. (You need only 100 to cause illness.) That can include E. coli and salmonella. Ideal: throw it in the washing machine after every use. Since pretty much no one does that, at least spread the rag out to dry – that’ll kill 90% of bacteria, she says.


Related: 61 Small Habits You Can Change To Lose Weight

You Wear Old Gym Kit

“Most men have probably reworn sweat-stained shirts without a problem, says Dr. Jason Miller of Dermatology Group in the US. You might get mirror acne on your chest or arms, worst case, a staph or fungal infection or folliculitis. If you do wear yesterday’s clothes, kill bacne-causing bacteria by foaming up after your session with a wash that contains salicylic acid, like Dermalogica Clear Start Breakout Clearing Foaming Wash. Lather gently and moisturise often!


You Skip Washing Your Hands After Peeing

None of our experts specifically said its okay, but it’s not the biggest offence. “Its unlikely that you’ll pick up a germ while urinating that’s hazardous in the way it can be if you pick up a microscopic particle of stool on your hand while using the toilet”, says Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious-disease expert at Vanderbilt University. Washing (with soap) after setting, of course, is non negotiable.

Related: Is It Unhealthy To Let Your Dog Sleep On Your Bed?

Sleeping On Dirty Sheets

Many people carry staph bacteria on their skin without it causing trouble. But it could, if the germs you shed naturally while you sleep multiply enough , says Dr. Kelly Reynolds, director of the Environment, Exposure Science and Risk Assessment Centre at the University of Arizona. Kick the habit and aim to launder sheets weekly – or at least wash your pillowcases, since its next to germ entry points (mouth, nose snd eyes).


Texting In The Toilet

If this is at your home and you live alone, then it’s fine, you can keep the conversation going. Not so in a public restroom, says Dr. Philip Tierno, of the NYU School of Medicine. Think about it: you touch the door and locks, pick up a virus, then deposit it on your phone while texting. Later your phone goes up to your mouth, and the virus goes in. You need only one measly cell of norovirus to chain you to the toilet (without texting) for up to three days. Keep it in your pocket.


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