Americans report these healthy habits have unintended side-effects

SWNS
·3-min read

Having good intentions doesn't always translate to positive results — just ask the six in 10 people whose healthy habits have unintended side-effects, as a recent survey indicates.

As part of a recent survey about health and air quality among 2,000 U.S. residents, 56% admitted that some of their good habits — including eating well, meditating, getting a full night's sleep and even cleaning — have caused unintended consequences in the past.

For example, 34% have become anxious during a calming exercise; another 34% have woken up exhausted after a full night's rest.

Two-fifths have felt ill after eating something healthy and a third have injured themselves exercising or staying active.

And 40% of respondents have encountered physical side-effects after using a cleaning product in their home, while another 36% have been similarly triggered by a scented candle or aromatherapy device.   

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of air purification company Blueair, the study also found that one in 10 have opened a window and become more congested than before. 

"The fresh air made my allergies flare up," said one respondent. Another contracted exercise-induced asthma while marathon-training and had to use SABAs to relieve their symptoms.

Allergies — as well as the common symptoms that often accompany allergies, like itchy eyes (68%) and sneezing (65%) — can be especially problematic for many Americans. 

 A third of respondents (31%) say they suffer from contact/skin allergies, while another third have experienced similar reactions to ingesting food (34%) or inhaling airborne irritants (29%).

Those especially susceptible to airborne allergies include men (34% vs 27% of women), both young and old respondents (55% aged 18-24 and 43% aged 57+), and west coast residents (38%).  

Although clean air and overall tidiness both rank within respondents' top five health concerns, over half (57%) have admitted to putting off household chores because they could feel bad side-effects afterwards — including 74% of men compared to 50% of women. 

Baby boomers were the least likely to put off chores for this reason, particularly compared to millennials (33% vs. 58%), who were willing to spend the most on keeping their home healthy.

Four in 10 included allergy symptoms as one of the negative side-effects they feel after a cleaning session, along with headaches (40%), congestion (38%), and even dizziness (38%).

One in four have even experienced symptoms while cooking, which Jonas Holst, Chief Product Officer at Blueair says is a form of air pollution that many people overlook.

"Many activities, from cooking to cleaning, can actually increase the number of harmful airborne particles in your home, including smoke and chemicals," said Holst. "The good news is that there are easy steps people can take to improve their air quality and the health of their home." 

Although 63% claim that the air in their home is clean, the average respondents only change their air or furnace filters three times a year — most experts recommend changing it every 90 days.

Over half of respondents (52%) also use air fresheners or candles in their home, which can release more pollutants into the air. 

"Changing your home's air filters regularly, throwing out scented candles and incense, using natural cleaning products and adding air purifiers to your home are great ways to decrease indoor air pollution," recommended Holst. "Removing common pollutants from your indoor air will not only improve sleep, increase productivity and reduce allergy symptoms, but it can also lead to lasting health benefits and an overall better quality of life."