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Cleaning To Lose Weight & Get Healthy…Really?

woman-sick-of-cleaningNew years resolutions are a cherished tradition, but the truth is that they often never come to fruition. According to a study performed by The University Of Scranton 45% of Americans make a new years resolution, of which only 8% actually follow through and succeed their goal of getting that “big” change in their life! The study showed that nearly 80% of resolutions were made in relation to self-improvement with weight loss being the number one contributor. What a lot of people do not realize is that being healthy and “healthy” weight loss go hand in hand. There have been multiple studies that have shown clean work environments and clean home environments have an impact on a persons overall health giving them the best chances to lose those unwanted pounds!

Let me explain, unclean or cluttered environments have an impact on both mental and physical health. There have even been studies that show that people who have a well kept house are more physically fit, have more time with their families and are sick less often. There have also been studies that show people who work in a clean, uncluttered office space have better morale and increased productivity. Why? Well lets take a look at the mental and physical factors that generate these interesting findings.

Physical Benefits Of Cleaning Up

Clutter is a normal thing to see around ones home but the thing about clutter is that it holds onto something that no one thinks about being all that harmful, dust! Dust can have a larger impact on your health than you know. It holds allergens, bacteria, dust mites, heavy metals and a hodgepodge of other particulates that can trigger asthma issues, allergies or even sickness. If you have someone in the house with allergies or asthma it is highly recommended that you dust and vacuum regularly as well as make sure that your HVAC filters are changed regularly to catch the larger air-born particulates. You might also think about scheduling a regular visit from a professional carpet cleaning service as the primary source of dust is soil from outside, and it loves to settle on your carpets.

The other source of trouble in a home can be attributed to surfaces. I remember as a child watching things like Sesame Street demonstrate how germs like to live on things like telephones, sink handles, door handles and just about every other surface we touch everyday. How often do you wipe down the surfaces in your house? Doorknobs, bathroom sinks, kitchen countertops, the refrigerator door handle! All of these surfaces will hold bacteria no matter what you do, but cleaning them regularly reduces the amount of buildup of these germs.

The ramifications of having unclean home and work environments goes much deeper than the obvious result of respiratory problems and illness. Unclean environments can cause lethargy and increase accidents. Falls in the workplace are one of the most claimed items in workmans comp, and I don’t know about you, but when my house is a mess I feel like I have to be an acrobat to circumvent my bedroom. Keep your clutter down and if you find yourself without the time to do the deep cleaning in your home or office consider hiring a professional cleaning service to come in once every 2-4 weeks to take care of that for you!

Mental & Emotional Benefits Of Cleaning Up

There have been many studies on this topic and they all seem to come to the same conclusion; living and working in unclean, cluttered environments has potentially severe issues to mental health. At it’s worst, clutter can manifest into issues like hoarding. It can also cause extreme amounts of stress. I know that if I have to go digging for that random item that probably landed in the “junk drawer” or in my overcrowded closet I can literally feel my blood pressure rising! A study from Princeton University Neuroscience Institute published findings that the chaos of clutter restricts you ability to focus and process information. Anytime your brain has to work harder to complete menial tasks it becomes stressed and can increase anger issues, depression, lethargy and just plain make you feel like you are going crazy!

All in All keeping a clean environment is a good thing, but as a society we run into the constant issue of time. In general it has become more difficult to support a household without two incomes and if you have kids, well you see where I am going. Also, toss in the distractions that come with todays society such as tv, internet, mobile gaming devices, mobile phones. We have so many things vying for our attention and often times the level of a homes cleanliness can go completely un-noticed.

So, you made a new years resolution to lose some weight. The best way to start is to get healthy, and to get healthy you should start by cleaning up! Cleaning provides exercise, decreases stress, provides a sense of accomplishment and reduces the distraction of clutter. Removing the clutter from your life will also help with time management and increase your odds of having time to hit the gym. Also, one is more apt to cook healthier meals if the kitchen is clean and accessible, much better for you than getting that convenient take out!
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