Worry Well About Your Health

Robert H. Shmerling, MD is the senior faculty editor at Harvard Health Publishing; and member of the editorial advisory board at Harvard Health Publishing. He recently published a piece entitled “How well do you worry about your health?” in which he describes how many of us worry about our health, yet a lot of what we focus on poses little risk.

Dr. Shmerling says “it’s impossible (and ill-advised) to never worry about your health” and asks id we are worrying about the right things. Below is a summary of his comparisons which lead him to his advice: “try not to focus too much on health risks that are unlikely to affect you,” he says. “Instead, think about common causes of poor health. Then take measures to reduce your risk. Moving more and adding healthy foods to your meals is a great start.

And in case you’re curious, the average number of annual deaths due to quicksand is zero in the US!