Advices

Googling Symptoms Could Be a Health Risk


Photo by Marissa Angell

Who hasn't relied on the great wisdom of the web for health info? But if searching for headache causes has ever result in the suggestion of a brain tumor, you probably know the web can be less than reliable. For some, hypochondria and access to the Internet's wealth of (mis)information result in cyberchondria, or excessive health anxiety caused by online searches.

But the Internet doesn't have to be all bad. Instead of relying on Google from the start, head to the computer only after talking to a doctor. They have a better understanding of risk factors, like family history, while the web can provide additional information on drugs or alternative treatments. Regardless, when heading to the screen, government and university-sponsored sites tend to be the most reliable resources.

The Takeaway: The Internet can be a powerful educational resource but should always be considered secondary to a professional's opinion.

Don't Get Sick at the Gym

More good news: no need to freak about germs at the gym. Here are some simple ways to skip out on the yucky stuff while getting in a good workout.

Fun Fact:

Water fountains can carry even more germs than toilets! All the more reason to tote a reusable water bottle.