(BlackDoctor.org) – According to experts, everything you do in your daily life, from where you stand in fitness class to the place you choose to store your meds, can have a surprising effect on everything how much you weigh to how often you need to go to the doctor.
The Unhealthiest Place For Your Toothbrush: The Bathroom Sink
There’s nothing wrong with the sink itself, but it’s generally right next to the toilet. There are 3.2 million microbes per square inch in the average toilet bowl, according to germ expert Chuck Gerba, PhD, a professor of environmental microbiology at the University of Arizona. When you flush, aerosolized toilet ickyness is propelled as far as 6 feet, settling on whatever is nearby, including the floor, the sink, and your toothbrush.
The Best Place: “Keep your toothbrush behind closed doors—in the medicine cabinet or a nearby cupboard,” Gerba says.
The Unhealthiest Place For Your Gym Shoes: The Bedroom Closet
Walking through your house in shoes you wear outside is a great way to track in allergens and contaminants. One study found that lawn chemicals were tracked inside the house for a full week after application, concentrated along the traffic route from the entryway. Shoes also carry in pollen and other allergens.
The Best Place: Reduce exposure by slipping off rough-and-tumble shoes by the door; store them in a basket or under an entryway bench. If your pumps stay off the lawn, they can make the trip to the bedroom—otherwise, carry them.
The Unhealthiest Place To Cool Leftovers: The Fridge
Placing a big pot of hot food directly into the fridge is a recipe for uneven cooling and possibly food poisoning, says O. Peter Snyder Jr., PhD, president of the Hospitality Institute of Technology and Management in St. Paul, MN. The reason: It can take a long time for the temperature in the middle of a big container to drop, creating a cozy environment for bacteria.
The Best Place: It’s safe to leave food to cool on the counter for up to an hour after cooking, Snyder says. Or divide the hot food into smaller containers and then refrigerate—it’ll cool faster.
The Unhealthiest Place To Set Your Handbag: The Kitchen Counter
Sorry, but that cute purse is a major tote for microbes: Gerba and his team’s swabs showed up to 10,000 bacteria per square inch on purse bottoms—and a third of the bags tested positive for fecal bacteria! A woman’s carryall gets parked in some nasty spots: on the floor of the bus, beneath the restaurant table—even on the floor of a public bathroom.
The Best Place: Put your bag in a drawer or on a chair, Gerba says—anywhere except where food is prepared or eaten.
The Unhealthiest Place To Use a Public Bathroom: The Stall In the Middle
The center stall has more bacteria than those on either end, according to unpublished data collected by Gerba. No, you won’t catch an STD from a toilet seat. But you can contract all manner of ills if you touch a germy toilet handle and then neglect to wash your hands thoroughly.
The Best Place: Pick a stall all the way left or right to minimize germ exposure.