4 everyday things you have been doing wrong all your life

Published: May 18, 2015

You might sometimes have a problem with complex tasks, but you can be sure that you have figured out how to perform the simplest things that get us through the day, right?

Turns out, you may be wrong.

Here are some everyday tasks you just might have been performing the wrong way all your life.

1. Pooping

This is something we have been doing since we were born, so it seems like nothing could be simpler than this. You might be surprised, then, to find out that you get this wrong every single day.


Chances are that you have a sitting toilet installed in the nearest bathroom. This however is only a relatively recent invention that coincided with the advent of indoor plumbing in the 19th century. In an interview published in The Guardian, microbiologist Giulia Enders explains that this modern sitting toilet is a major cause of hemorrhoids.

She explains that the correct way to poop is the way our ancestors have been doing it all along: “Indian style”! The pressure that squatting exerts on our intestines helps to push along the waste matter, making sure that everything is completely purged from our system.


2. Breathing

Chances are, if you are reading this, this is something you are actively doing right now. There is also a very good chance that you are doing it wrong.

Take a deep breath right now. If you’re anything like most people, you raised your shoulders a little and puffed out your chest like a pigeon in heat. You probably don’t see anything wrong with using your chest to breathe, since after all, that’s where your lungs are. Well, it turns out that the muscle you’re supposed to use to breathe, your diaphragm, is under your lungs and closer to your belly.


According to the American Medical Student Association, “chest breathing” can lead to lesser oxygen entering your system, which can increase fatigue levels. They recommend that the correct way to breathe is by using your abdominal muscles which will engage your diaphragm. This allows more you get more oxygen with each breath, meaning that you get tired less easily.

3. Brushing your teeth

Our mothers trained us to brush after our meals, which does make sense if you think about it. This practice helps us to dislodge all the particles of food wedged between our teeth, reducing the chances of cavities. Turns out the logic isn’t as sound as we have been thinking it is.

British dentists are now actively recommending that people not brush their teeth after every meal. The reason is that the acidity in food and beverages causes tooth enamel to soften, and brushing right after eating an acidic meal strips enamel from the teeth, leaving them more vulnerable to cavities. Leaving a little food behind actually doesn’t cause as much damage as your toothbrush does as it scrubs the natural protective layer off the teeth.


Before you decide to stop brushing your teeth altogether, remember that brushing your teeth twice is a day is still highly recommended. However, you should do it away from mealtimes to give your teeth time to recover from acid wear, ideally, right before you eat or drink anything.

4. Sitting
It is almost a well-known fact that long periods of sitting increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease and even cancer, no matter how much you work out when you’re not sitting.

According to USA Today, our bodies aren’t designed for the right-angled back support presented by the average chair. When we’re standing up, or even sitting on something backless, our abdominal muscles are active, helping our spines support our weight. When you’re sitting on a chair, these muscles relax, and suddenly your spine alone has to take the entire weight of your upper torso, like a twig holding up a bowling ball. The extra stress puts pressure on your spinal disks and can eventually lead to chronic back pain.

Shikhar Dhawan demonstrating the wrong way to sit

USA Today recommends that you switch to standing desks or that you replace your chair with a fitness ball, which, we realize is not practical for everyone. A study quoted by MSNBC suggests another option: the study used an MRI to measure the spinal disk movement of three groups of people, one sitting, one slouching and one lying back at a 135-degree angle with their feet on the floor. The last group showed the least disk movement. So try it at work, and tell your boss you’re avoiding future sick days.

This article originally appeared on Cracked.com

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Revlations
    May 20, 2015 - 2:38PM

    Thanks for the journalism, Trib – Global standards, local perspectives – wasn’t it?Recommend

  • Faizan Arshad
    May 20, 2015 - 7:47PM

    Some awful science lacking evidence-base. E.g. American Medical Student Association is not an authority on lung mechanics!Recommend

  • Faisal
    May 20, 2015 - 9:47PM

    One of the most idiotic column I read in my life, no facts, no logic, straight out of a garbage journalism bag.Recommend

  • May 21, 2015 - 3:20AM

    Very good information…. thanks sir..Recommend

  • Adnan Khan
    May 21, 2015 - 5:22PM

    As a doctor, I dont know whether to laugh or cry. This is extremely poor journalism. Sources are a microbiologist’s views on hemorrhoids (the poor woman probably never saw one in her entire clinical experience), then Americal Medical Students Association which thinks that the natural physiology of how most women breath is wrong. Wow. Next USA today on chairs.

    Is there any reliable evidence to back any of this stuff?Recommend

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