Sprinting Toward Death in the Most Mundane Way Possible: Which of Your Daily Habits Are Dangerous?

Sitting too much. Too much smartphone time. We are endangering ourselves in really boring ways people.
Publish date:
March 6, 2014
Dangerous, gross habits, sharing toothbrushes, Reader's Digest

Did you guys see the most recent "Portlandia"? The one where those ghosts of bad advice are haunting Kirsten Dunst? They say things like “Sitting kills,” “Humans weren’t designed to sit,” and “We heard it on NPR.”

Too real. Too damn real.

Everywhere you look or listen, there are new studies telling you are dying in the most mundane ways possible. We are endangering ourselves in really boring ways people. Sitting too much. Too much smartphone time. Listening to music too loudly.

It's enough to make one go sky diving, just to feel alive.

Reader’s Digest (I'm totally their demographic) was kind enough to compile a list of all the mind-numbingly ordinary dangerous activities we may be participating in. Let’s go through it and find out how quickly we are sprinting towards the grave.

I’ll include the “danger rating” they give each activity as well.

1. Falling asleep with the TV on

Danger Rating: Not Ideal

An un-cited Australian study found that watching TV (or messing with any screens before bed) kept some teens up later. That makes sense, I guess. If you’re watching "True Detective: (WHICH I AM) it’s more tempting to watch one more episode than it is to turn off the lights and try to slumber.

Researches at Ohio State University also found that hamsters exposed to “TV-like” light at night showed signs of depression but maybe that’s because they’re being kept up and NOT being shown "True Detective."

Anyway, RD then states that it’s okay if you’re using TV to turn off your hyperactive brain (this is what I use "The Office" reruns for) but put it on a timer or something lest you be jarred awake by infomercials.


2. Using someone else’s toothbrush or razor

Danger Rating: Pretty Bad

Oh, I totally do this. The toothbrush thing mainly, because I’m bad about leaving my toothbrush places (hotels, etc.) and using Sean’s until I buy a new one. RD says that if “smooch your spouse a lot” it’s basically the same bag of bacteria. So I guess if you don’t smooch your spouse a lot, you are much safer.

On the razor thing though, that is never a good idea. I’m guilty of using my sisters’ and my college roommate's but that’s not really a danger anymore because they all live on the west coast where their razors are safe from my thieving hands.

3. Drinking from a bottle of water that’s been in your car for months

Danger Rating: Probably OK

Really? Huh. I think I would only feel fine about this if it was unopened, but RD says it’s okay as long as you are the only one who drank from it prior to leaving it in the car. So t's only your backwash in there.

4. Leaving your toaster plugged in

Danger Rating: Pretty Bad


I don’t care. I’m going to live dangerously with my toaster and all other kitchen appliances plugged in. House fires be damned.

5. Letting your dog eat your ice cream cone.

Danger Rating: Definitely Dangerous (ooh alliteration)

Guys. None of you do this right? I’ll let Angie lick the bowl of (non –chocolate) ice cream when I’m done eating it, but once her cat-poop-eating mouth has touched a food, she has called bacterial dibs.

I'm also not one of those people who kisses her dog, but I just found this so I don't even know who I am anymore.

I’m not going to explain why this is a bad idea. I give you all more credit than that.

I can’t even finish the last two because they are “washing your hair with body wash” and “driving with flip flops.” If I die from driving with flip flops please put that on my tombstone, right next to “She was funny sometimes,” or one of my best tweets.

I already do so many things that are dangerous and/or gross, I have no need to seek out more things to worry about. Life has a cruel sense of humor about these things anyway. The fact that Keith Richards is still alive proves this.

Here’s a short list of things I do that are pretty stupid/dangerous:

1. Drink

It’s no secret that I drink alcohol. Beer, wine, liquor, all of it. With dinner, without dinner. Out and about or at home listening to records. I have at least one drink a day five days a week, but I rarely just have one drink at a time. I actually don't know how many drinks I consume on a weekly basis, but I’ve had six since Sunday. I don’t get drunk every day, but I do drink more than I should. It’s probably messing with my skin and liver. I just have a hard time caring that much.

2. Text/Check my email while driving

This is terrible and I need to stop. It’s really dumb and my FOMO is no excuse.

3. Bring my phone into the tub

Not dangerous so much as dumb. How many pictures of myself do I need to take of me drinking in the bath? I’ve probably met my quota, but it’s kind of my entire brand.

4. Drink very little water

It is 2:30 and I've only had iced coffee and a beer today. No water. My husband is always on my case about this, and he’s completely right. I’m probably dehydrated 60% of the time.

5. Let the cat on the bed

Cats poop in litter. Then they scratch around in the litter and get waste all over their feet. Then I let them on my bed, near my head.

I don’t let them on the kitchen counter, though.

6. Don't wear enough sunscreen

For someone who has had six suspicious moles removed, I have a very cavalier attitude about SPF. I put it on my face every day, but never on my arms or chest. I need to start writing notes to myself on the mirror or something.

So there are the most mundane ways that I endanger myself and health. Are you guilty of any of these? Are we all going to die boring deaths? Should I just go skydiving? I think I'm just going to keep doing all the stupid stuff I do. (Except the texting while driving. I'll quit that, I promise.)

Tweet Claire the answers to these questions @clairelizzie