We humans have been doing this ‘being alive’ business for quite some time now and we keep getting better at it. Gone are the days where we once thought that the body was comprised of four ‘humors’; medicine has moved on a lot since then, and also from the days when doctors advertised smoking as a great way to look after yourself.
Given these occasional missteps of the past, it’s easy to understand why we’re all big fans of jumping on solutions. When we experience something as being bad, we just wait for medical science or an innovative inventor to come up with a solution – which we willingly embrace.
Surprisingly, while our mistakes might not be quite as catastrophic as the whole “smoking is good for you” issue – we are still making mistakes. In our desire to fix any problems we encounter, it’s very easy to find yourself trying to improve your health with a fix that, ultimately, is going to just create a brand new problem.
FIX: “Sitting is bad for you!”
Some medics even say that sitting is as bad for you as smoking – which is a little bit extreme, but there’s a decent amount of evidence to back them up. So we’ve all accepted that sitting is bad; so standing must be good, right? So a few years ago, the world was introduced to the concept of a standing desk.
Which, sure, works if you’re only concerned about sitting. If, however, you’re also concerned about the fatigue and pain caused by standing in one spot for hours on end, and the possible impact that has on back pain, then a standing desk isn’t such a good idea. You can always head to antifatiguematcenter.com to look for a mat that makes long periods of standing more comfortable, though it also makes sense to allow yourself to sit down while at the office too.
FIX: “Use Band-Aids on blisters!”
The feeling of a blister developing in your shoe is one of the most miserable sensations in the world, because there’s not much you can do about it. Unless you can immediately stop and change shoes, you’re just going to have to continue on, letting that blister get worse and worse.
So the fix was pleasantly simple: just use Band-Aids over any vulnerable skin! Which sounds nice, except for the fact that the Band-Aids then get rubbed away, meaning you now have both the shoe and the loose Band-Aid rubbing against your skin. That makes the blister even worse. It’s far better to use specific blister protective dressings than standard Band-Aids.
FIX: “Use sleeping tablets if you’ve got insomnia!”
Insomnia is an irritation for most of us on occasion, but for some people, it’s a way of life. For those with chronic insomnia problems, the idea of being able to take a pill to put them to sleep sounds like a dream (pun intended). That’s the kind of thing modern medicine should be proud of!
The reality, however, is that sleeping tablets tend to do more harm than good. Rather than addressing the underlying causes of insomnia, it’s a blanket approach that doesn’t actually fix the condition – it fixes the symptom. Then you have the fact that – as WebMD.com points out – a side effect of sleeping tablets is daytime tiredness; which is also a symptom of insomnia anyway – so not really an improvement.
Medicine and well-being have got a lot right over the years, but they still clearly have their slipups. Sometimes, when you tick off one problem as solved, another just emerges in its place.