If you’re like the vast majority of people, you dread having to clean your home. No matter how you try to look at it, cleaning generally isn’t most people’s idea of a good time. Still, it’s one of those things that we all have to deal with.
However, you might be more apt to start cleaning more often if you knew about all of the potential health benefits it can provide. Although it might not be enjoyable, keeping your house clean can actually help you to protect and improve your health in a number of surprising ways. In fact, studies have even shown that people with cleaner homes also tend to be far more physically active than those with a lower level of cleanliness. Not only that, but scientific evidence shows cleaning can benefit your health in these ways as well.
Prevent Allergies and Respiratory Problems
The home is full of a wide range of common allergens, such as pet hair and dander, dust mites and pollen, as anyone who suffers from dust allergies can attest to. For those who do have allergies or other respiratory problems, dust can often trigger an allergic reaction that makes it hard to breathe or causes your eyes to become puffy, red and watery.
In some cases, these dust allergies may even trigger asthmatic symptoms and cause you to start coughing, wheezing and sneezing. Vacuuming up dust mites and these other allergens can help to reduce the occurrence of dust allergies. However, vacuuming can also temporarily make the allergies worse by stirring up the allergens, which is why it is essential that you vacuum frequently to keep this dust to a minimal level.
Help to Stop the Spread of Germs
This one is fairly obvious. Keeping your house clean helps to minimize the amount of bacteria and thus lowers your chances of getting sick. Most people tend to think of the bathroom as the part of the house with the most germs, but studies continually show that kitchens are home to the highest concentration of bacteria.
Every part of your home is susceptible to germs, but the kitchen is much worse due to the presence of food and thus the risk for food poisoning. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that a properly sanitized kitchen greatly reduces your risk of food poisoning, which is yet another reason to keep your house clean.
Keep Pests at Bay
Dirty homes tend to attract pests, and these pests are another common source of germs and allergens. Cockroaches are often attracted to homes by the presence of food, and they also happen to be one of the most common sources of dust allergies. Food particles and general dirtiness can also attract rats, mice and other disease-carrying pests. Maintaining a clean home is one of the biggest keys to preventing pests and thus protecting your health.
Decrease Anxiety, Stress and Other Mental Issues
Although you may not realize it, being in a cluttered or dirty environment can raise your level of stress and thus increase your risk of anxiety, depression, insomnia and a range of other mental issues. Keeping your home clean and free from clutter can do wonders for your mental state and help you to avoid stressful situations like having to rush to work because you couldn’t find your keys in all that mess. In this sense, it is well worth spending a weekend cleaning out all of your clutter and organizing your house or taking an extra five minutes a day to make sure everything is clean and in its place before you go to bed.
Improve the Quality of Your Sleep
This relates directly to the previous issue—stress. The body and mind are more relaxed in a clean, organized environment, whereas being surrounded by clutter can leave you with slightly elevated stress levels. In turn, this can make it much harder for you to fall asleep and could be a contributing factor to insomnia.
Most people find it easier to fall asleep in a clean, tidy environment. All you have to do is think about how well you sleep in a nice hotel to see how this is true. Studies have shown that getting a good night’s sleep is equally as important to your health as diet and exercise, which means this is another area where cleaning can provide a great benefit to your health.
No one truly likes living in a dirty home. The problem is that some of us just can’t be bothered to spend the time it takes to keep our homes clean. However, you might want to reconsider your stance on cleaning now that you know about all of the advantages it provides for you and your family’s health.