25 Ways Modern Life Is Killing Us

Posted by , Updated on April 18, 2024

You’re killing yourself on a daily basis – and you don’t even know it!

Whether it’s what you’re eating, drinking, doing, or even NOT DOING – the things driving us to our early graves are hiding in plain sight.

Today, I’ll show you just how you’re living your life in all the wrong ways and give you some tips on how to make the most of it.

Here are 25 Ways Modern Life Is Killing Us.


We’re Addicted To The Internet


You can find an endless amount of adorable cat videos and incredibly entertaining listicles on the internet. I mean, you’re here, right?

But let’s be honest: While the internet exposes us to people and places we never thought we’d meet or see – it actually disconnects us from the real world.

Studies have shown that too much screen time can be linked to social isolation, self-esteem issues, attention deficits, weight gain, anxiety, depression, and a slew of other serious medical conditions. In fact, this subject can probably even get its very own Top 25 list. 

So, while those temporary dopamine hits may be fun, remember to take some time out, put down the phone, and physically reconnect with the amazing family and friends who share your life.


We’re Living Sedentary Lives

Man Using 3 Computershttp://www.cbsnews.com/news/why-sitting-all-day-is-killing-you/

I bet you’re watching this sitting down in a chair. In fact, I bet most of us spend a hefty chunk of every day parked in one. And news flash: it is not doing our hearts any favors. 

A recent study found that men who logged a mere 23 hours of sitting per week – just over 3 hours a day – were significantly more likely to develop heart disease, even if they exercised regularly.

The kicker? It’s not just sitting that’s the culprit. Any prolonged stillness – think extended car rides or desk jobs – can put your heart at risk. Why? Our bodies are built for movement. Keeping everything in motion, from our muscles to our blood flow, keeps our hearts ticking happily. The more inactive we are, the higher our chances of heart disease.


We’re Eating Too Many Processed Foods

Canned Beef on Shelhttps://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318630#:~:text=Processed

Love a quick and easy meal? While convenience is tempting, overdoing it on processed foods can bring unwanted health baggage. Those ready-made dinners, packaged snacks, and even some “convenience” meats often pack a sneaky punch of added sugars, unhealthy fats, and refined carbs. This combo can contribute to weight gain, lead to the development of type 2 diabetes, and other health concerns.

Of course, not all processed foods are villains. Minimal processing, like freezing or canning, can even help preserve nutrients. But the key is to be mindful of what’s hiding in those labels. Opting for more whole, unprocessed foods most of the time is the recipe for a healthier you.


We’re Overreliant On Modern Medications

Person Taking Pillhttps://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/nursing-and-health-professions/drug-dependence#:~:text=Drug

Are you the type of person who reaches for that trusty bottle of pills at the first hint of a sniffle? I’m not judging, we’ve all been there. However, taking over-the-counter medications for every minor ache or sneeze could backfire in the long run. 

Why? Well, you’re basically taking the scenic route around your body’s own superhero capabilities.

Instead of relying exclusively on meds, build your body’s natural defenses. Eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and managing stress can all make a big difference. And if something feels genuinely off, it’s always best to consult your doctor for a proper diagnosis and medical advice.


And Then There’s Our Social Media Addiction

Smartphone Iconshttps://bmcpsychology.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40359-023-01243-x#:~:text=Excessive

We all do it – scroll through social media on the go and swipe through feeds before bed. It’s easy to believe everyone’s living a picture-perfect life through those little squares. But research suggests it’s not just how much time we spend online but how we use it that truly impacts our mental health.

Spending too much time comparing ourselves to others can erode our body image, while the constant churn of information can fuel anxiety and stress. Even neglecting real-world connections for the glow of our phones (“phubbing”) can leave us feeling isolated and emotionally vulnerable. 

So take control. Ask yourself: Am I connecting or comparing? Am I using this platform to enrich my life or numb it out? If it’s feeling more like a drain than a joy, it’s time to hit the brakes.


We’ve Gotten Used To Oversized Portions

Bolognese pastahttps://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/nbu.12307#:~:text=It

Ever wonder why that giant burger looked tempting? Bigger portions can trick us into eating more, often beyond what our bodies actually need. And we’ve gotten so used to it as a society that we’re at the point where we’re constantly over-eating.

If you want to make a change, reverse the cycle by using smaller plates and taking mindful bites, not just smaller bites. Chew slowly, appreciate the flavors, and stop when you feel satisfied, not stuffed. You’ll be surprised how much less you need when you truly tune in to your body’s signals.


We’re Not Exercising Enough

Watching TVhttps://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/factsheets/physical-activity.htm#:~:text=Not

Exercise isn’t always pleasant, and skipping that workout, run, or walk might seem harmless, but as I’ve already mentioned – we’re sitting down too much already. To skip or shy away from physical activity is literally a slap in the face to your health.

It can cause unwanted weight gain as well as increase the risk of heart disease, even in otherwise healthy individuals. This includes raising your chances of developing risk factors like high blood pressure, cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes. 


We Ingest Too Much Caffeine


While a well-timed morning cup of joe can do wonders, overindulging in caffeine isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. 

Going overboard (beyond 400mg a day) can lead to insomnia, nervousness, and even physical discomfort like nausea and a racing heart. Larger doses can even trigger headaches, anxiety, and chest pain. Remember, caffeine can also be found in certain chocolates, soft drinks, energy drinks, and medications. Check the labels!

So, sip responsibly and let your body enjoy the buzz in moderation.

Can you guess which other condiment we’re ingesting too much of?


While We’re On The Subject, Let’s Discuss Our High Intake Of Energy Drinks

Red Bull In Canhttps://www.eatingwell.com/article/8061814/are-energy-drinks-healthy/#:~:text=Regularly%20consuming%20high%20levels%20of,for%20them%20on%20the%20regular.

Energy drinks are all the rage, especially with teens and young adults. But here’s the catch: those promises of an instant boost haven’t been fully proven. In fact, they might do more harm than good. 

Packed with caffeine and sugar, energy drinks can elevate heart rate and blood pressure, potentially triggering arrhythmias, especially in young hearts. Their anxiety-inducing properties can keep teens tossing and turning, while the high sugar content fuels weight gain and increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. Worse, regular consumption can lead to dependence, with withdrawal symptoms like headaches and fatigue making quitting a challenge. So, before reaching for that can, remember: the buzz might be fleeting, but the health price tag can be long-lasting.


We’ve Normalized Excessive Plastic Surgery Trends

Plastic Surgeryhttps://www.linkedin.com/pulse/impact-beauty-standards-understanding-link-between-indriani#:~:text=Beauty

Contrary to popular belief, plastic surgery is far from modern, with physicians in Ancient India utilizing skin grafts for reconstructive surgery as early as 800 BCE. However, using skin from one’s own body is a far cry from injecting plastic into it. 

The modern plastic surgery industry is a booming billion-dollar business. Unfortunately, every surgical procedure comes with a hefty price tag and some kind of risk. Even if all goes smoothly, it might still leave the patient with body dysmorphia (the feeling that they need more surgery to cover up their (imagined) flaws). 

Supporters argue that plastic surgery is ethical because a procedure can vastly improve someone’s confidence and make them happy. Still, we should ask ourselves, are we using these enhancements to feel more confident, or are we becoming slaves to an unattainable image of perfection?


Our Diets Need More Diversity

Assorted Cooked Foodshttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9710417/#:~:text=Nutritional

Today, food is significantly easier to come by than a thousand years ago. A simple trip down to your nearest supermarket reveals a kingdom of frozen vegetables, plastic-wrapped meat, plenty of pasta, and a collection of dairy products to cover most bases on the food pyramid. However, the diet you might construct from these staples could be less nutritious than you think.

Studies have shown that nutrient deficiencies, even in developed countries, are shockingly common due to a lack of dietary diversity and can lead to a heap of medical issues. From developmental delays to impaired organ functioning, and even diabetes, visual impairments, compromised immune systems, and cancer. 

Thankfully, we are rediscovering our need for whole foods, and agriculture is speedily being diversified. Try sticking to colorful plates with plenty (5 a day) of fresh fruits and vegetables. You’ll find that you’ll have loads more energy, and a new (lemon)zest for life.




We Are Materialistic


Millions of people believe that collecting possessions is the best path to happiness. I mean, who doesn’t love something new? However, research paints a different picture. 

Studies indicate that individuals with strong materialistic values tend to experience lower levels of overall well-being. They report fewer positive emotions, lowered life satisfaction, and higher rates of anxiety, depression, and even substance abuse. 

It might be time to reconsider the traditional equation of happiness with having more. It could be in giving more. 

What do you think?


We’re Drowning Our Bodies In Too Much Salt


While salt adds flavor to our food, overindulging can lead to serious health consequences. 

Your body only needs a small amount (around 1-2 grams) to function properly. But most people devour well above that, often exceeding 2,000 mg of sodium per day. This can skyrocket your blood pressure, a significant risk factor for kidney disease and heart problems like strokes and heart attacks. 

So, remember, keeping your salt intake in check is a small step with big rewards for your cardiovascular health and overall well-being.


We’re Not Getting Enough Sunlight Exposure


Vitamin D deficiency, often linked to weak bones and conditions like rickets and osteomalacia, is surprisingly common. The main culprit? Not enough sunshine! When exposed to sunlight, our bodies produce Vitamin D, but staying indoors can deplete our supply. 

While diet can sometimes play a role, regular sun exposure, within safe limits, is crucial for maintaining adequate Vitamin D levels and promoting healthy bone development and mineralization.


The Comparing Game

Do Not Compare Yourselfhttps://jedfoundation.org/resource/understanding-social-comparison-on-social-media/#:~:text=emotional

We’ve all had our moments doomscrolling on social media, where we notice a post with a couple kissing by the sunset, a fitness guru rocking an eldritch number of abs, or a model posing for the camera with perfectly styled hair and felt in some way inadequate.

It’s human nature to compare ourselves with others as a sort of mental checkpoint to assess whether we’re being competent members of society or missing the goalpost entirely. However, that natural comparative instinct can become detrimental in the hyper-edited, hyper-controlled, hyper-perfect social media world we live in. This endless loop of comparing ourselves to people who cherrypick only the best content themselves to post online can chip away at our self-esteem, leaving us feeling anxious and inadequate. 

But it’s important to remember that each person is fighting their own battles, has their own issues to work out, and is comparing themselves to others too. Trust me, that couple by the sunset has arguments. That guru is flexing his stomach as hard as he can, and the morning that model had her photoshoot, she spent hours on her hair. 

Live your own truth!


Excessive Gaming

Gaming Consoleshttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3905489/#:~:text=Various

Gaming offers a powerful tool for connection, bridging generations, and reaching those who struggle with traditional social cues. Grandparents can bond with grandkids over virtual quests, families laugh together, and individuals, like those on the autism spectrum, find a comfortable space to belong. 

But as with everything on today’s list – too much of anything is never a good thing. 

Excess gaming can lead to sedentary lifestyles, repetitive strain injuries, and sleep deprivation. Studies also hint at potential mental health impacts like stress and depression. And let’s not get started on the potential impact of violence and the accompanying desensitization of teens and young adults and the repercussions that often go with it.

It’s all about balance. Embrace gaming as a fun escape, but prioritize real-world connections and physical activity.


We’ve Gotten Too Used To Convenience Foods

Food Deliveryhttps://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318630#:~:text=Ultra-processed

I love convenience foods. A bit of Italian can sway me any day. And cake! But that’s just me – and I’m trying to change.

Ultra-processed foods (think ready-meals, baked goods, processed cheeses, crackers, noodles, and all those other things that taste SO good) are unfortunately packed with unhealthy fats, excessive sugar, and artificial ingredients and offer minimal nutritional value. 

A diet rich in, well, rich and processed stuff, leads to weight gain, increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, and even impacts cardiovascular health. 

If you change up the culprits with whole foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean protein, you will significantly improve your well-being not only today – but also in the years to come.


We Eat Too Much Red Meat

Red Meathttps://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/whats-the-beef-with-red-meat

According to the USDA, the average American eats 224.6 pounds of beef, pork, broilers, and turkey each year.

And yet, despite recent headlines suggesting otherwise, a mountain of evidence links high intakes of red and processed meats to increased risks of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. 

While exact recommendations for safe consumption are still being debated, most experts agree: moderation is key. 

So try to aim for no more than 2-3 servings of red meat per week, treated as a side dish, not the star of the show. For processed meats, the evidence is stronger and the risks greater, so minimize them as much as possible.


We Need To Get Out More

Green Forest Treeshttps://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/nature-and-mental-health/how-nature-benefits-mental-health/#:~:text=Nature

I’ll be the one to say it: Nature rocks. Few feelings are more satisfying than the slight crispy coolness of wind on your face, the pleasant warmth of the sun, or the feeling of grass between your toes. However, with modern life consistently pushing people towards their screens and jobs, those feelings become something that is rarely experienced.

This disconnect from nature comes at a cost, especially for our well-being. Studies show that spending time outside not only decreases anxiety and depression but is also great for increasing energy, thanks to all the Vitamin D you can soak up out there. We tend to forget that humans were once animals, too, and spending time in the natural environment of our home planet is bound to reassure us. 

So, the next time you can, we suggest venturing outdoors and touching some grass. Embrace your inner hippy, and you’ll feel the difference almost instantly.


Our Screen Time Before Bed

Screen Time Before Bedhttps://www.sutterhealth.org/health/sleep/screens-and-your-sleep-the-impact-of-nighttime-use#:~:text=Studies

Have you ever found yourself scrolling for hours at night, only to struggle with sleep afterward? You’re not alone. 

The blue light emitted by our electronic devices messes with our natural sleep rhythm, making it harder to drift off and stay asleep. Studies show just two hours of evening screen time can disrupt the vital melatonin surge we need for a good night’s sleep.

So, how do we break the blue light spell? Give your gadgets the boot at least an hour before bedtime. Instead, dive into a cozy book, soak in a relaxing bath, or dim the lights for some breathing exercises. You’ll be thanking yourself when morning comes.

I personally find that reading my Kindle works best; what works for you?


Stressful Work Environments

Stressful Work Environmenthttps://www.apa.org/topics/healthy-workplaces/work-stress#:~:text=A

Are you feeling cranky, sleepless, and forgetful? It might be your job. 

High-pressure workplaces can turn up the heat on our health, leading to a whole lot of unpleasant side effects – from headaches and upset stomachs to barely-sleeping nights and tempers as short as a paper cut. 

Over time, this constant stress can even evolve into full-blown anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure, and a weakened immune system. 

If your work environment feels like a pressure cooker, try to take some steps back. Talk to your manager, explore workload adjustments, and find healthy coping mechanisms like exercise, relaxation techniques, and maybe even a well-deserved break. 

Your health is more important than any deadline.


Our Constant Multitasking

working motherhttps://www.linkedin.com/pulse/multitasking-stress-how-break-cycle-achieve-more-michelle-hill#:~:text=Multitasking

We love to think that our ability to multitask is an efficient habit rather than a response to the increasingly hectic world we live in. Still, it can backfire pretty nastily if you’re not careful, like juggling flaming chainsaws. 

The main reason for this is that our brains aren’t wired for instant switching, as we still have a bit of caveman brain in us. Each time we abruptly switch tasks, it takes a mental toll, raising stress levels and making it harder to focus on anything. This can leave us feeling stretched thin, frazzled, and unproductive. 

So, what can we do about the situation? Try taking it step by step and focus on one thing at a time. Give each task your full attention without the mental circus act. You’ll find that you can accomplish much more and stress way less when you’re not worried about 600 things at once.


Financial Stress & Economic Pressures

Woman With Receiptshttps://www.healthdirect.gov.au/financial-stress#:~:text=While

Financial woes can weigh heavily on our minds, triggering stress that can spiral into more. That constant worry, the knot in your stomach – it’s normal in the face of economic pressure, but it can morph into bigger problems if it lingers.

Anxiety and depression can creep in, making the days feel grayer and heavier. Coping mechanisms, sometimes unhealthy ones, might tempt you – turning to substances, isolating yourself, or even harboring dark thoughts.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it might be time to seek help. Consult a trusted friend, family member, or professional. There are always options available – heck, just talking about it will already help.

Reach out, take control, and reclaim your well-being, one step at a time.


We’ve Got A Sugar Problem

Brown Sugar Cubeshttps://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/the-sweet-danger-of-sugar#:~:text=

Sugar might make our lives worth living, but its true nature is anything but sweet. 

While naturally present in healthy foods like fruits and veggies, the real culprit is added sugars hiding in processed foods and even salty snacks. Yes, people, it’s inside just about everything from sodas to cookies to sauces and even breakfast cereals. The result? We’re swimming in a sea of sweetness, averaging about 24 teaspoons daily – that’s a hidden 400-calorie punch! 

This sugar rush may give your cells a temporary boost, but overindulging comes with weight gain, diabetes, heart woes, and even fatty liver disease. 

So, what’s the sweet spot? Experts recommend moderation, with daily limits roughly equivalent to six or so teaspoons – or the amount you’ll get in a single soda can.


Environmental Toxins

Ways Modern Life Is Killing Ushttps://study.com/academy/lesson/understanding-environmental-toxicology-epidemiology.html#:~:text=Environmental

You may not have guessed it, but the number one reason we’re dying a bit faster than we’d like to – is environmental toxins

We’ve all heard about the microplastics in the fish, the freaky hormones in the vegetables, and the lead in certain sugar products. Environmental toxins are all around us, chemicals and pollutants that are the byproduct of our industrialized modern society, and can be a real issue for anyone who has to deal with them. 

The solution isn’t to purchase a hazmat suit (it would produce more pollution anyway) but to be aware of these unseen threats and act accordingly. Stick to fresh, healthy foods, keep an eye on air quality, and limit your exposure to harmful chemicals. 

Most importantly, try to contribute to the fight against pollution by holding the massive companies responsible for polluting our Earth accountable! Collective efforts can go a long way in ensuring that future generations won’t find it harder to avoid these harmful chemicals.

Enjoyed this list? Check out 25 Countries With The Lowest Life Expectancy In The World.