Health benefits of a clean home

A research done at Indiana University found a correlation between physical exercise and a clean house. Researchers found participants exercised more with cleaner homes. “The interior condition of their home appeared to be the only thing that affected their physical activity at the end of the day,” said activity expert Nicole Keith.

The question remains: do fit individuals have more resources to clean their houses or are they merely disciplined in terms of their health and house cleanliness? Nonetheless, maintaining a clean home has its advantages-a theoretically fit body being only one.

Other reasons to keep a clean home include:

Lowering stress and fatigue

“When you live in a messy home, your eyes don’t have a place to rest, you are subconsciously reminded of work that needs to be done and visually,” says Dr Rian Rowles, a psychiatrist associated with the Advocate Christ Medical Center 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.”

Reducing allergy and asthma symptoms

Allergies and asthma can worsen if you do not remain clean in areas with carpeting, upholstery or bedding, or in naturally damp areas, such as basements and garages.

In physical possessions, dust mites, pet dander and mold lurk, which can cause allergic reactions, reduce air quality and increase possible asthma issues says Dr Uma Gavani, an allergy and asthma specialist on staff at Christ Medical Center.

“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 mold to accumulate in closets, on surfaces and in crevices.”

Improving safety

“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.”

Often, a fire threat is something that covers doorways and hallways. Bettenhausen says, “Clutter can easily hasten the spread of fire and hinder your ability to escape or to be rescued.”

It’s essential to keep your home cleaned up and free from spills to make your house physically cleaner.

Lessening the spread of germs

Although most people think of bathrooms as the most germ-ridden spots in the house, findings indicate the kitchen is the biggest area of 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 Center.

He advises that countertops should be made of an impermeable material that can be cleaned with bleach after raw meats and fish preparation. After each use, the cleaning of sponges and cloths that promote pathogens’ growth should sanitize.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, contaminated food can spread gastrointestinal illness. Food-poisoning is less likely in kitchens that have been adequately cleaned and sanitized. “Before cooking, you would be surprised to know how many raw foods produce disease-causing bacteria on their surface,” Dr Sokalski says.

He also stresses the importance of paying attention to the 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.”

Keeping pests away

In messy homes, bugs and rodents can multiply and easily hide. Water spills, food debris and dirty pet dishes are drawn to them. As they transmit sickness, bacteria, germs and allergies, their presence is problematic.

“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 also be a problem for many homes. “They can spread diseases to humans, including Lymphocytic Choreomeningitis, Salmonella and Hantavirus,” stated Dr. Sokalski. “It’s very important for the health of the entire family to prevent pest infestations.”

Daily cleaning helps keep bugs away and discover them until they become a major problem, including placing all food away in airtight containers after each meal, and regular trash removal.

Improving your diet and waistline

Research has shown that women eat more sweets and high-fat foods when faced with everyday hassles or occupational pressures. Cornell University researchers found that a chaotic physical world can also play a role. They set up two test kitchens with healthy and unhealthy snacks, one organized and the other messy and disorganized, and found that almost twice as many calories in sweets were eaten by those working in the dirty kitchen as those working in the organized kitchen.

So, grab the vacuum and clean your home with a little sweat—good it’s for your wellbeing!

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