Location, location, location: Store owners aren't the only ones concerned with finding the perfect spot to display their stuff. Researchers in a wide variety of fields know that how you organize your environment has a surprising effect on everything from your weight to your chances of staying health. When it comes to how you feel, it's not just what you do but where you do it.
Did you know the worst place for your toothbrush in on the bathroom sink
There's nothing wrong with the sink itself--but it's awfully close to the toilet. There are 3.2 million microbes per square inch in the average toilet bowl, according to germ experts. When you flush, aerosolized toilet funk is propelled as far as 6 feet, settling on the floor, the sink, and your toothbrush. Unless you like rinsing with toilet water, keep your toothbrush behind closed doors in the medicine cabinet or a nearby cupboard.
Did you know the worst place for your sneakers and flip-flops is in the bedroom closet
Walking through your house in shoes you wear outside is a great way to track in allergens and contaminants. A 1999 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. Reduce exposure by slipping off your shoes by the door and store them in a basket or under a bench.
Did you know the worst place to try to fall asleep is under piles of blankets
Being overheated can keep you from falling asleep. A natural nighttime drop in your core temperature triggers your body to get drowsy. To help your body radiate heat from your hands and feet, don’t bundle up under piles of blankets
Did you know the worst place to cool leftovers is in the refrigerator
Placing a big pot of hot edibles directly into the fridge is a recipe for uneven cooling and possibly food poisoning.: It can take a long time for the temperature in the middle of a big container to drop, creating a cozy environment for bacteria. You can safely leave food to cool on the counter for up to an hour after cooking. Or divvy up hot food into smaller containers and then refrigerate, it'll cool faster.
Did you know the worst place for a workout reminder is stuck on your fridge
A visual nudge can help but only if you notice it. In one study, a sign urging people to use the stairs rather than the nearby escalator increased the number of people who climbed on foot by nearly 200%. Put your note near a decision point, just remember the reminder is usually short-term, so try to change the visuals location note often.
Did you know the worst place to sit on an airplane is in the rear
Avoid the rear of the plane if you're prone to airsickness. Think of a seesaw, the farther from the center you are, the more up-and-down movement you experience. Because the tail of the plane tends to be longer than the front, that's the bumpiest of all. The smoothest option is sitting as close to the wing as you can.
Did you know the worst place to pick up a prescription is the pharmacy drive-thru
Drive-thru windows are high among distracting factors that can lead to prescription processing delays and errors. If you don't want to give up the convenience of a rolling pickup, be sure to check that both drug and dose are what your doctor ordered.
Did you know the worst place to set your handbag is on the kitchen counter
Your fancy handbag is a major hangout for germs with 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 and even on the floor of a public bathroom. Put your bag in a drawer or on a chair, anywhere except where food is prepared or eaten.
Did you know the worst stall to pick in a public restroom is the one in the middle
The center stall has more bacteria than those on either end. 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.
Did you know the worst place to stand during your first few fitness classes is front and center
You might think that you'd want to be near the mirrors so you can check your form, but you will be more motivating if your view is obstructed. In a recent study, women who exercised in a mirrored room reported feeling more anxious about their body's imperfections after their workout than women who exercised without mirrors distracting them.
Did you know the worst place for a nighttime reading light is overhead
These fixtures put out relatively bright light, enough to significantly delay your body's secretion of melatonin. This can wreck your night, since rising melatonin levels are a major cue for your body to prepare for sleep. A low-power light clipped to your novel will let you read but leave the room dark enough for your brain to transition into sleep mode.
Did you know the worst place to keep medicine is in the medicine cabinet
It's not uncommon for the temp in a steamy bathroom to reach 100°F--well above the recommended storage temperatures for many common drugs. The cutoff for the popular cholesterol drug Lipitor, for instance, is around 77°F. To stay out of the red zone, store your meds in a cool, dry place, such as the pantry.
Did you know the worst place to set fruit before washing it is in the kitchen sink
Of all the household germ areas, the kitchen sink sees the most bacterial traffic, even more than the toilet. If the perfect berry drops while you're washing it, pop it in the trash not in your mouth.
Did you know the worst place to use headphones is on an airplane, train, or subway
If you listen through a headset in a noisy environment, you probably crank the volume too high. In reasonably quiet surroundings, people tend to keep the volume at an ear-friendly level. But when the background noise increases like the loud rumble of an airplane cabin, 80% boosted the volume as high as 89 decibels, a level that risks long-term hearing damage. If you must have music, consider noise-canceling headphones to avoid the danger zone.
Did you know the worst place for your coffee is the refrigerator or freezer
Think that you're preserving freshness by keeping it in the fridge? Think again. Every time you take it out of the fridge or freezer, you expose it to fluctuating temperatures, which produces condensation. The moisture leeches out flavor and it's like brewing a cup of coffee each time. The best spot to store beans or grounds is in an opaque, airtight container kept on the counter or in the pantry.
Did you know the worst place for your TV is wherever you eat
Distraction is your waistline's enemy and it can keep you from noticing how much you're eating. You tend to eat faster when watching TV than while listening to music, consuming 71% more macaroni and cheese when watching a show. If you have the TV on while cooking, turn it off before eating. The best place for your television is up or down a flight of stairs, so you have to work to get a snack. You’ll be much less likely to munch.
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