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When You're Online Shopping This Festive Season, Consider the Effects It Has on Your Health

During the holidays we are encouraged to be generous, whether this means giving to the community or showering our loved ones with gifts. It’s a big commercial holiday and brands are ready for people to spend, but sometimes the process of going to the store when it's very busy, and contending with grumpy individuals and lengthy queues, is incredibly unappealing. Many prefer to skip the malls during this time and instead opt to shop online, except, you’ll be paying for this convenience with your health (well, long-term anyway).

According to a new study, via The Telegraph, a group of physiotherapists has found that continually ordering things online is bad for the muscles as it causes people to miss out on essential muscle-strengthening exercises. Think of it like this; when we go shopping, we usually end up carrying heavy bags of groceries (or other parcels) which helps to strengthen the muscles.

Professor Karen Middleton, of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, expanded on this point. She said, "Online shopping may be very convenient but it does mean that we are losing some of the methods that used to exist for strengthening our muscles. We're carrying fewer bags home from the supermarket because it arrives at our door.” This is particularly harmful for the older generation, and 24 percent of participants aged 65 and more, now claim they don’t do any strengthening exercises, which could put them at risk for health problems.

It’s not just muscle loss and maintaining an active lifestyle that we need to consider, it’s also the psychological effects of online shopping, and how it can become addictive. According to Psychology Today, a study, which was published in the journal PLOS ONE, looked at the relationship between online shopping and addiction and noted factors that could make an individual susceptible to addiction.

These factors include individuals who prefer to avoid social interaction, people who want a variety of items and constant availability, and lastly, those who crave instant gratification. Those who are pathological shoppers can find that their addiction can affect their relationships, and they often buy things they do not need, or cannot afford.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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