Chara Kramer – Community Director – Parsley Health
Springtime has long been linked to renewal and rebirth. The changing of the weather from cold and dreary to bright and sunny presents many of us with the opportunity to start fresh. What better place to begin than in our own homes?
While some people might dread putting on their gloves and giving their home a good scrub down in the name of spring, we’ve found that there are some actual health benefits to busting out your broom and dustpan once in a while.
1. Cleaning helps you breathe better.
If you’re someone who suffers from seasonal allergies, it may not only be pollen that is responsible for those sneezing fits. Dust and pet dander are big immune system disruptors for people prone to allergies, and cluttered homes tend to gather a lot of both in the winter months. A 2014 study by the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunity found that cleaning your home and de-cluttering your space can help you avoid allergy symptoms and make you feel healthier. This is especially true in the springtime when allergies run rampant.
2. Cleaning reduces stress.
You’ve probably heard the saying that a cluttered home means a cluttered mind. It has long been believed that our outer environment is often a reflection of our mental inner state. If this is the case, then a clean home environment should enable you to think more clearly and relax more easily. In fact, according to a study by America’s Anxiety Disorder Center, people who make a point of cleaning out their homes from time to time are able to free up their brains for essential decision-making. Studies have also shown that doing housework for as little as 20 minutes can reduce your stress and anxiety by up to 20%. To help you de-stress faster, use lemon scented cleaning products and enjoy the relaxing health benefits of a job well done.
3. Cleaning is a workout.
The cleaner your home is, the more exercise you’re getting and the more energy you have. One explanation for this is simply that you burn calories when you clean. On average 30 minutes of vacuuming can burn up to 111 calories for men and 94 calories for women. In addition, the ability to self-regulate and work towards goals can also come into play here. People who are motivated to keep their homes clean tend to be more driven to invest in their overall physical fitness. If you’re feeling sluggish, twenty minutes of low-intensity workout (like cleaning) three times a week can increase your overall energy levels by 20%, and reduce your fatigue by up to 65%.
4. A clean bedroom will help you get a good night’s sleep.
Your mother was onto something when she asked you to make your bed every morning when you were a kid. People who make their beds regularly are 19% more likely to sleep well on a regular basis. A bedroom poll conducted by The National Sleep Foundation also found that 75% of those polled sleep better on clean sheets with a fresh scent. So if you’re having trouble sleeping at night, try maintaining a cleaner bedroom environment and see if that helps you catch more zzz’s.