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Sep 05, 2021

It's spring-cleaning time again – time to get break out the polish cloths and dusters! Besides leaving your home dust and clutter free, spring-cleaning is also good for your physical and mental health.

Good for physical health

  1. Get a full-body workout

    You tend to do the same physical movements that you’d do in a gym when you’re housecleaning. Activities such as vacuuming, mopping, dusting, scrubbing, tidying and carrying heavy items engage your abdominal, gluteal, arm and leg muscles. Your core becomes more stable and your muscles stronger. Who says you don’t have a home gym when you have a house to clean?

  2. Burn more calories

    While you’re cleaning and getting a full-body workout, you’re also burning three to four times more calories per minute than you would while sitting and watching TV. For example, a person weighing about 80kg, could burn around 215 calories per hour while mopping the floor. The more vigorously you clean and the more time you put in, the more calories you will burn.

  3. Strengthen your immune system

    Clearing away dust, pet dander, mould and mildew may help to relieve allergies, prevent respiratory problems and support a healthy immune system. Don’t neglect those hard-to-reach or easily forgotten areas such as the tops of mirrors, frames, lamps and lights, or window sills, skirtings and railings. Remember to wash your curtains too – you’ll be surprised how much dust they gather.

  4. Prevent illness

    If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, we’ve learnt to clean items continuously that we use regularly or share with others (like your bathroom) to prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria.

    It’s also important to keep your kitchen sink, surfaces and utensils clean to prevent food contamination, which could lead to illness. Don’t forget to keep your fridge, freezer and pantry clean too.

  5. Reduce risk of injury
    A clean and tidy home can prevent bumps, trips, slips and falls. Clear away clutter and make sure that all paths are clear of obstacles. Designate areas for items such as shoes, bags, sports equipment, toys and electrical cords. Also make sure that all rugs and floorboards are secure.

Good for mental health

  1. Reduce stress and depression

    A clean and tidy home has many mental health benefits, including reducing stress and depression. Cleaning and organising may help you to focus better and feel more in control. These tasks may also provide you with time for reflection and mindfulness, which may help to boost your mood.

    The physical effort of cleaning and tidying may also help to release endorphins and other “feel-good” hormones, and reduce cortisol levels (which cause stress). In this way, you should feel more positive and energised.

  2. Clear your mind

    You may find decluttering and organising may help you to focus better and complete tasks efficiently. The act of donating excess items to a charity, or responsibly recycling certain items, may also help to boost your mood.

    A clean and decluttered bedroom, in particular, may help you to sleep better. It’s recommended that you only keep essential items on your bedside table and change your bedding regularly.

  3. Feel accomplished and motivated

    Housework can help us to feel a sense of accomplishment for achieving a goal. Complete small tasks daily if your current housework seems too daunting. This way, you will still feel a sense of achievement. It may also help you to feel more motivated and energised to face other, bigger challenges in your daily life.

  4. Create a positive attitude and good habits

    When you’ve accomplished a goal – housework included – it may help you to feel more positive and resilient when the going gets tough. Regular housework may also help you to form good habits such as self-discipline and self-motivation, which could, in turn, increase your productivity.

  5. Reflect a good self-esteem

Your space can reflect how you view and feel about yourself. A clean and tidy home can help those who struggle with anxiety and depression to maintain a good self-esteem, as well as feel safer, happier and more relaxed in their space.

Bestmed Tempo wellness programme

While it may take some effort, having a clean, clutter-free home is worth it for your overall physical and mental wellbeing. Besides cleaning and tidying, take advantage of your Bestmed Tempo wellness programme benefits. Simply complete your Health Assessment at Dis-Chem, Clicks or Van Heerden Pharmacy to unlock your journey to optimal health with a Tempo biokinetic and dietitian. These benefits are paid from Scheme benefits and do not affect your savings or day-to-day benefits.

Bestmed has also partnered with the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) to offer member a free 24-hour mental health helpline. To make use of this benefit, contact SADAG via:

 

References

Admin. 2021. 5 ways cleaning can improve your mental health. Mother & Child. Available [Online]: https://www.motherandchild.co.za/nutrition/health/5-ways-cleaning-can-improve-your-mental-health/. [Accessed: 2 September 2021].

Akers, W. 2020. Here are 5 ways spring-cleaning can make you healthier. Healthline. Available [Online]: https://www.healthline.com/health-news/5-health-benefits-of-spring-cleaning. [Accessed: 2 September 2021].

Berzin, R. (MD). 2021. Seven surprising health benefits of spring cleaning. Parsley Health. Available [Online]: https://www.parsleyhealth.com/blog/health-benefits-spring-cleaning/. [Accessed: 3 September 2021.

Frey, M. 2021. Burn More Calories While Cleaning Your House. Verywellfit.
Available [Online]: https://www.verywellfit.com/how-to-burn-more-calories-cleaning-house-3495596. [Accessed: 3 September 2021].

Ryback, R. (MD). 2016. The Powerful Psychology Behind Cleanliness: How to stay organized, and reap the health benefits. Psychology Today. Available [Online]: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-truisms-wellness/201607/the-powerful-psychology-behind-cleanliness. [Accessed: 3 September 2021].

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