Everyday Habits That Are Bad For Your Joints

Joint pain is a common ailment in the U.S. According to the CDC, around one quarter of adults report having severe joint pain and over 54 million people are living with arthritis. These health struggles can have a negative impact on your everyday life.

What’s worse is there are plenty of common habits you might not even realize are worsening your joint health. That’s why it’s important to learn what these negative habits are, and correct them with good ones instead.

Here are eight habits that can be bad for your joints…


Repetitive motions like texting are one of the known causes of joint pain. That’s because the results can result in microscopic tears in joint tissues. This can lead to not-so-comfortable conditions like tendinitis, bursitis, or osteoarthritis.

Other common repetitive motions include typing on a keyboard, jumping, kneeling, bending, or even working on an assembly line. The Headache, Migraine & Concussion Center recommends doing gentler modifications and taking breaks throughout the day to reduce joint pain.

Being Stressed

Stress can have a negative impact not only on our mental health, but our physical health too! The biggest physical impact is likely to be on our joints. According to Everyday Health, people with rheumatoid arthritis have an exaggerated physiologic response to stress.

There are more chemicals released from stress. More chemicals means more inflammation, so it’s important to properly manage stress levels. The most effective ways to manage stress are with regular exercise, a healthy diet, and getting a good night’s rest.


It should come as no surprise that smoking is an unhealthy habit. Its negative health consequences have a domino effect on the entire body, including our joints. People who smoke or use of other tobacco products are at a higher risk of spine and joint problems, says WebMD.

The reason behind this is because nicotine constricts tiny blood vessels that supply blood to the joints, such as the disks in the spine. Young people aren’t immune to this either. People in their 30s can endure these joint-related outcomes, so it’s best to quit smoking ASAP or better yet, don’t ever start.


If you think that your body is safe laying on the couch or sitting at work for most of the day, think again. Staying still for long periods of time can take a toll on our joint health. Forbes reports that when a person is sedentary, the quality of the muscle around the joints start to erode.

The good news is that daily movement doesn’t have to be overbearing. The CDC lists several types of exercise that can help people reduce their arthritis symptoms. 

Heavy Lifting

Lifting is a great way to stay in shape and build strength. But lifting with too heavy weights or improper form can be detrimental to joint health. LiveStrong says following a health routine can make lifting safer.

A safe routine includes doing a pre-workout stretch to warm up. Don’t use weights that are too heavy. A good way to measure is by whether or not you’d be able to do at least 10 repetitions. You should also make sure to cool down to help the body start the recovery process.

Keep in mind that weight lifting in the gym isn’t the only type of dangerous lifting you can do. Even toting an oversized bag or carrying a heavy backpack stuffed with items can strain your joints, so make sure to watch what you lift.

Too Much Exercise

While exercise is a good habit to have, there is such thing as too much exercise, especially when it comes to our joints. It’s important to strike a healthy balance between being sedentary and active for optimal joint health. Some physical activity is always better than none, but overexertion can lead to more joint damage.

The CDC says people living with arthritic should base their physical activity based on the arthritic symptoms. Start slow and modify activities to be joint friendly. Some examples of exercises gentle on the joist are swimming, walking, cycling, and dancing.

Unhealthy Eating

Diet also plays a role in keeping the joints healthy. For example, it’s important to consume the proper nutrients everyday that impact joint health. This means getting the proper daily dosage of calcium and vitamin C.

You should also make sure to avoid foods that are considered inflammatory. This includes foods that are high in sugar, refined carbs, and saturated foods. Opt for these anti-inflammatory foods instead:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Unsaturated oils
  • Fatty fish
  • Green and leafy vegetables

Ignoring Joint Pain

It’s important to listen to your body. If you’re experiencing joint pain, schedule an appointment with your doctor right away.

Ignoring the discomfort can potentially worsen symptoms and make it more difficult to treat. Your doctor will be able to source the reason for your joint pain and hopefully come up with a plan to resume normal function.

Chelsea Dolan

Chelsea Dolan

Chelsea is an experienced writer with a passion for living a healthy life. She does her best at balancing her sugar addiction by going to the gym, parking far away from store entrances, and standing at her work desk from time to time.