What if vacuuming could improve your health? A study reveals the benefits of housework…as well as its disadvantages.
Cleaning windows, actively vacuuming, going up and down the stairs to tidy up the house… These household tasks are considered by scientists to be “moderate to vigorous intermittent physical activities”. In other words, these everyday actions could reduce cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks or strokes, and thus save your life. Good news for Sunday athletes!
Are household chores really that beneficial? Discover the study carried out by researchers who highlight these benefits, but also the hidden consequences of this activity.
The benefits of a little cleaning session
Australian researchers have shown in a study that there is a positive link between moderate physical activities such as housework, and your health. Although no one categorizes cleaning as a sport, cleaning your house still allows you to move your body on a daily basis.
To highlight this link, the researchers chose adults, aged 42 to 78, who do not practice sport daily. They followed them in their daily lives for eight years, collecting data using an accelerometer. It is a wrist-worn device that measures and records accelerations and decelerations caused by movements.
At the end of eight years, the researchers were able to note the percentage of mortality from all causes using data from the UK Biobank.
The results ? They found that 97% of participants’ physical activity was achieved when they were doing household chores. Furthermore, according to the data collected, the more participants invested in their cleaning session, the better it was for their health.
According to Emmanuel Stamatakis, a researcher at the Sydney Medical School and lead author of the study: “The take-home message here is that any type of activity is good for your health. The key is to exercise to the point where you have trouble breathing and are unable to hold a conversation for part of the time ( 10 seconds out of one minute)”. A dynamic cleaning session therefore seems to be able to help your heart stay in great shape.
Beware of repeated actions and toxic products
While housekeeping helps you take care of your heart on a daily basis without much effort, household chores can also ultimately cause you harm.
First of all, repeated movements are likely to cause injuries, including the development of tendinitis.
On the other hand, exposure and use of toxic household products represent a risk of poisoning. This is the case with bleach, products containing ammonia as well as lacquers for wooden furniture which pollute the air and your lungs.
Many household products, such as multi-purpose detergents, also contain endocrine disruptors. When you are exposed to them on a daily basis, they can induce hormonal disorders, particularly problems of obesity, infertility or even thyroid diseases.
However, don’t worry about your household routine! Fortunately, there are healthy and natural cleaning products for your health, which will allow you to reap the benefits of cleaning!