A New Look At 10 Habits That Were Suppose to Be Bad For You…MAYBE NOT!

10 Supposedly Bad Habits That Turn Out to Be Good for You

Larry Schwartz | Alternet.orghappy

Sorry, smoking is still bad for you. But feel free to watch cat videos at work.

Everyone has, at one time or another, been admonished for their bad habits. Childhood is our training ground for trying and developing habits that society has deemed obnoxious, dangerous or annoying. But that has never stopped us from carrying on, try as we might to discard bad behavior. Science, however, has a way of validating the most interesting things, including bad habits. It turns out that some of these habits are actually good for us.

Here are 10 supposedly bad habits that yield surprising benefits.

1. Fidgeting

As kids, our parents and out teachers told us countless times to stop fidgeting. The inability to sit still is a habit that can drive people around us crazy. In many cases, fidgeting is pathologized, diagnosed as a disorder like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and medicated. But sometimes fidgeting is just fidgeting, an effort to find optimal comfort. As it turns out, fidgeting can actually be a good thing for adults.

It has long been established that being deskbound for long periods of time can have detrimental effects on health, including increased risk of cardiovascular disease and even early mortality. Efforts to mitigate these risks are behind the latest office craze, the standing desk. It turns out that, according to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, being a fidgeter can afford you some of the same benefits as having a standing desk. In the study, women subjects were divided into three groups, low, medium and high-level fidgeters. The study found that medium and high-level fidgeters did not suffer the 30 percent rise in mortality risk that the low-level fidgeters did. As an extra added bonus, fidgeting can burn up to 350 calories a day. So for all those deskbound workers who can’t seem to stop crossing their legs, tapping their toes and drumming their pencils, keep up the good work!

2. Daydreaming

Watching a daydreamer at her desk as she stares off into space can be an amusing experience. Often, the somewhat obnoxious response is to snap your fingers and call her back to Earth. But the common belief that a daydreamer is lazy or procrastinating or just not up to the task she is being asked to do, may not be correct. A study at the University of British Columbia found that the brain is actually quite active when it is daydreaming, particularly in the area associated with complex problem-solving. “When you daydream, you may not be achieving your immediate goal—say reading a book or paying attention in class—but your mind may be taking that time to address more important questions in your life, such as advancing your career or personal relationships,” said Kalina Christoff, the lead author of the study.

3. Sunbathing

The dangers of too much sun are well known, and the incidence of skin cancer has been climbing for many decades. We have all been told to stay out of the sun, slather on the sunscreen, and wear our sun hats and sunglasses. All of this is good advice—to a degree. It turns out that the flip side is that too little sun can result in a deficiency of vitamin D, which increases the risk of osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and some cancers. Experts are now loosening the “No sun under any circumstances” prescription. In order to assure that the body manufactures enough vitamin D, it is now recommended that we get out in the midday sun for 10 minutes or so every day, sans protection, preferably exposing more than just our face to the rays. It’s not READ MORE: http://www.alternet.org/personal-health/10-supposedly-bad-habits-turn-out-be-good-you

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