There are bad habits you quit and then there are bad habits you keep, despite resolutions, promises and guilty feelings the mornings after. And even though they’re not the worst things you can do to your health, these bad habits are bigger than “no big deal” and can cause long-term consequences when it comes to your health and your happiness.
Here, the eight biggest “little” bad habits and how to kick them to the curb for good.
1. Slouching at your desk. We know—when your boss is breathing down your neck, sitting up straight is the last thing on your mind, but making an effort is important, points out Bill Hartman, a physical therapist and co-owner of Indianapolis Fitness and Sports Training. “Sit with your hips as far back in the seat as possible and press your spine into the back of the seat when you notice yourself slouching,” suggests Hartmann. And make sure to stand at least once an hour—maybe pop by a co-worker’s desk to ask them a question rather than send an email—and periodically shift in your seat. “Most people tend to spend the majority of their time sitting on their right side, so shift your weight toward the left ‘sit bone,’ ” suggests Hartman.
2. Diving into the office pizza. Maybe it’s a late night at work or a team member’s birthday, but giving into those “special occasion” foods every time can be murder on your health and waistline, warns Heather Bauer, R.D., creator of Bestowed, a healthy snack subscription service, especially when those occasions happen nearly every day. “The best thing to do is be prepared,” says Bauer. “Have something to keep your mouth busy and an excuse for when people ask why you’re not joining in.” Pop a piece of mint gum before you head to the conference room, and if anyone asks why you’re not indulging, let them know you’re going to a birthday dinner tonight. Also, try brushing your teeth or grabbing a cup of mint tea as soon as you get the “cupcakes in the conference room” email; the minty flavor will make you less tempted to dive in.