Cleaning is Preventative Healthcare
Updated: Jan 30
Article by Grace Reynolds, owner of HANDMAID® from the American House Cleaners Association's Professional Cleaning Providers Course.
Cleaning is Preventative Health Care.
Preventative Healthcare is a form of health care that helps to prevent or decrease the likelihood of unwanted health-related issues such as infection, disease, injury, illness, and respiratory issues. Rather than treating a condition that has already progressed and requires medical intervention, this type of healthcare takes action to improve your health and prevent these unwanted outcomes before they happen.
According to Psychology Today in an article written by Ralph Ryback M.D., “A study led by Associate Professor NiCole R. Keith, Ph.D., research scientist and professor at Indiana University, found that people with clean houses are healthier than people with messy houses. Keith and her colleagues tracked the physical health of 998 African Americans between the ages of 49 and 65, a demographic known to be at an increased risk for heart disease. Participants who kept their homes clean were healthier and more active than those who didn’t. In fact, house cleanliness was even more of a predictor for physical health than neighborhood walkability.”
Three common ways cleaning is Preventative Healthcare:
Respiratory Health - Indoor Air Quality.
Infection and Disease Prevention - Surface Sanitation & Safety.
3. Mental & Emotional Health - Peace and Order.
1) Indoor Air Quality
Americans typically spend about 90% of their lives indoors, where indoor air pollution levels are often 2-5 times higher than outdoor levels, according to studies published here by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommends proper and regular sanitization of homes and working businesses at all times, to reduce the number of harmful particles and organic materials which directly impact the quality of air in our homes and buildings.
The most common indoor air pollutants can only be effectively addressed and eliminated with proper contaminants removal and sanitization methods. Dust, dust-mites, dander, dirt, microbial growth (fungi, mold, and bacteria), insects, roach feces, human & animal urine residue, and human & animal fecal matter are only some of the common pollutants found in homes and businesses that require regular and proper cleaning methods to effectively increase indoor air quality, according to the CDC published here.
According to the American Lung Association (ALA), published here, "Poor indoor air quality can cause or contribute to the development of infections by a greater likelihood of transmission through the air and exacerbation of symptoms once a disease or illness of the lungs develops.”
2) Infectious Disease Prevention
Removing build up and maintaining a clean environment is vital in our effort to maintain healthy living and work environments and reduce the opportunity of spreading disease and infection. Foreign germs, viruses, and other infectious agents are spread much more rapidly when the cleaning and sanitization of surfaces are neglected, or performed incorrectly.
Living in homes, and spending time in businesses that are unsanitary, significantly increases the likelihood of spreading illness from person to person, from commonly used/touched surfaces, as well as from food borne illness. Excessive buildup of contaminants on almost any surface becomes a breeding ground for transmittable infection and disease, especially in bathrooms and kitchens. Mineral deposits, grease, and stuck-on food residue are just some of the common contaminants that provide infectious microbes a haven to reproduce, and grow stronger. Environmental Cleaning is a foundational and integral part of the Medical & Healthcare system.
“The importance of environmental cleaning as a fundamental IPC (Infection Prevention and Control) intervention cannot be overstated. Environmental contamination plays a role in transmission of HAIs (Hospital Associated Infections), which are a significant burden globally and disproportionately affect those in resource-limited settings.” - According to the CDC in article published here.
3) Mental & Emotional Health Recent studies have proven the significant emotional and mental impact environmental cleaning and order has on our everyday lives. Living or working in a disorderly and unsanitary environment, has a major impact on productivity and mental health.
Maintaining cleanliness in public buildings and businesses is not only vital for the safety of the public, but can also have a direct impact on the overall success of most small businesses.
Studies have shown that employees who work for businesses that maintain clean and orderly work spaces tend to have significantly less sick-days, increased motivation, and are less stressed overall.
Maintaining cleanliness also increases morale within a company, both for employees and customers.
When it comes to keeping a home a clean, it becomes a vicious cycle for those who already suffer from severe depression or other mental illnesses. Proper cleaning for those with mental disabilities can help to encourage a healthier lifestyle by decreasing stress and promoting productivity.
“There’s a lot of shame around hygiene. This shame can fuel both obsessions with hygiene, and the stigma surrounding mental illnesses that make it hard for us to practice basic hygiene.” - Sian Ferguson, healthline.com
Environmental cleanliness encourages and stabilizes personal hygiene and often helps break the cycle of depression and among other mental types of illness or distress.
American House Cleaners Association © 2021 PCP Certification Course Lesson 2