Indiana University conducted a study finding correlation between clean homes and overall fitness. Researchers found that participants with cleaner homes also exercised more. Activity expert Nicole Keith stated “At the end of the day, the interior condition of their house seemed to be the only thing affecting their physical activity.”
This poses an interesting question: Do fit people simply have more energy left at the end of the day to clean their homes, or does the discipline of their workout schedule carry over to keeping a clean house? Either way, a clean home has many benefits, whether or not a fit body is one of these remains to be seen.
More reasons to keep your home clean include:
Alleviating asthma and allergy symptoms
Mess accumulating in areas with bedding, carpeting or upholstery, or in naturally damp areas, such as garages and basements can worsen symptoms of asthma and allergies.
Per fur, dust mites and mould can accumulate in physical possessions, which decrease air quality, increase asthma symptoms and trigger allergic reactions according to allergy and asthma specialist Dr. Uma Gavani from Christ Medical Centre.
“The more stuff you have in your home, the harder it is to clean,” Dr. Gavani says. “Messy areas increase the potential for dust, pet dander and mould to accumulate in closets, on surfaces and in crevices.”
Reducing fatigue and stress
“When you live in a messy home, you are subconsciously reminded of work that needs to be finished and visually, your eyes do not have a place to rest,” states psychiatrist Dr. Rian Rowles, an affiliate with Advocate Christ Medical Centre in Oak Lawn, Ill. “Too much clutter can cause tremendous stress and fatigue. When things take longer to find, or can’t be found, stress levels rise, and so does your risk for illness.”
“Falls and fires are two leading causes of injuries and deaths inside the home,” says Gary Bettenhausen, Bureau Chief of EMS from the Oak Lawn Fire Department. “Tripping over objects and slipping on slick surfaces can cause head injuries and broken and sprained limbs, which can result in a trip to the hospital emergency room.”
Anything blocking doorways and hallways can be a fire hazard, and also blocks escape routes “Clutter can easily hasten the spread of fire and hinder your ability to escape or to be rescued,” Bettenhausen says.
It’s important to keep your home clear of clutter and free from spills to make your environment physically safer.
Hindering the spread of germs
Although the majority of people will think of the bathroom as the most germ-ridden room the house, research would argue the kitchen is the biggest area for concern.
“The kitchen is a prime area for germs because of the many crevices that can hold water or splatters of food, says Dr. Stephen Sokalski, an infectious disease specialist with Christ Medical Centre.
Sokalski suggests that all counter tops should be made from water-resistant materials, and to clean them with bleach after preparing raw meat and fish, and any sponges or cloths used in the cleaning process be decontaminated afterwards, as these can become havens for pathogens.
According to the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, food poisoning is less likely in kitchens that have been properly sanitised as gastrointestinal illnesses can be spread by contaminated food. “You would be surprised to know how many raw foods grow disease-causing bacteria on their surface before cooking,” says Dr. Sokalski.
He goes into detail regarding the key areas to clean in your bathroom.“The toilet and flush and faucet handles are easily contaminated with potential dangerous germs and need to be disinfected. These are a major focus of environmental cleaning in the hospital and need to be in the home.”
Improving your diet and waistline
Women tend to eat more high fat foods and sweets when faced with hassle and stress researched would suggest. Cornell University conducted some research that found a chaotic environment may contribute to this as well. Two test kitchens were set up, one with healthy and unhealthy snacks, one organised and another disorganised. The research found those working in the messy kitchen consumed nearly twice the amount of calories than those working in the clean kitchen.
Keeping pests away
Bugs and rodents can easily hide and multiply in messy homes. Hey are attracted to food debris, dirty pet bowls and liquid spills. They spread bacteria, germs and disease so their presence is a cause for concern.
“Cockroaches are not just annoying, but can spread dangerous germs to humans,” says Dr. Sokalski. “They are a well-established cause of asthma, carry numerous bacteria and parasites and they spread germs that can cause gastroenteritis.”
Mice can cause problems in anybody’s home. “They can spread diseases to humans, including Lymphocytic, Chore meningitis, Salmonella and Hantavirus,” stated Dr. Sokalski. “It’s very important for the health of the entire family to prevent pest infestations.”
Regular cleaning, including putting all food away in air-tight containers after each meal, and daily trash removal help to keep pests away and uncover them before they become a serious issue.
So, grab the vacuum and work up a little sweat cleaning your home – it’s good for your health!