How Your Home and Health Are Connected
One way or another, you spend a massive chunk of your life at home. For a little perspective, the average person spends 2 to 3 hours doing household activities and 5 to 6 hours engaging in leisure activities each day. Add onto that the fact that people spend a third of their time sleeping, and the home becomes an obvious hotspot in a person’s life.
It should come as no surprise, then, that your home and your overall health are intimately connected.
The Link Between Home and Health
You may be tempted to simply say “Of course my home affects me. After all, I live here.” And in a certain sense, the sentiment is true. Anywhere you spend significant amounts of time can have an impact on your health. But have you ever broken down exactly how many ways your home can impact you? It’s worth considering. Here are a few of the major categories:
- The cleanliness of your home: A cluttered space adds to stress and anxiety, and unaddressed dirt and grime can grow bacteria and mold that can have a negative effect on your living space.
- The condition of your home: A poor floor plan can block sunlight and restrict airflow, leaky pipes can lead to mold issues, and poor ventilation can cause air-quality concerns.
- The kitchen in your home: The way you stock your kitchen can have a huge effect on your home life, from junk food in the pantry to unhealthy drinks in the fridge.
- The bedrooms in your home: A bedroom that is overly lit, used for other activities, or even simply cluttered can disrupt sleep.
These are just a few of the many ways that your home and health can intersect. The critical factor is that you recognize that your home isn’t just four walls and a roof. It’s a holistic space where all of your physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental activities come together. You can work, rest, and sleep in your home, and thus it’s essential that you take the time to make sure your home is set up to optimize your health.
Ways to Increase Your Health at Home
With so much at stake, it’s important to address the healthiness of your living environment. This can be done in numerous ways, and you should always be on the lookout for ways to improve your living environment. Here are a few preventative home and health maintenance tips to help get you started with the process of improving your living spaces:
Refresh Your Air
Few things impact you more than the air you breathe. Take, for example, the life expectancy of workers in the coal and metal mines in the Hunan province of China in the early 1980s. Life expectancy for those working above the mines was an already discouraging 58.91 years. For those breathing the poor air down below, though, the number dropped by nearly ten years to a miserable 49.23 years.
The point is, the air you breathe really does impact your health. As you search for ways to increase your home’s health appeal, make sure to address the condition of your air. The best way to do this is by flooding your spaces with fresh outdoor air on a regular basis.
If circumstances prevent you from accessing outdoor air, such as the time of year, at least set up an air purifier. As a bonus, try to set up a UV light in your ductwork, as this can help to eliminate microbial contaminants that pass through your HVAC system.
Properly Maintain Your Home
There are many health-related factors that should be a part of your home maintenance plan, including:
- Replacing your HVAC and air purifier filters on a regular basis.
- Deep-cleaning your house to remove hidden dirt, bacteria, and mold.
- Trimming bushes that prevent sunlight from entering your home.
- Blocking drafts with caulk and weather stripping.
- Changing fire alarm and carbon monoxide detector batteries on a regular basis.
- Cleaning your ducts if needed (it’s better to leave them unless they’re genuinely dirty, as messing with reasonably clean ducts will just stir up the dust that is already in them).
Activities like these can help you keep your space remain in tip-top condition, especially when it comes to maintaining your overall health.
Make Healthier Food Choices
The food that your space contains can significantly impact your physical and emotional health. If you’re having a hard day and you grab a half-gallon of ice cream out of the freezer, you likely won’t feel much better half an hour later.
Look for ways to purge your unhealthy food options from your pantry, and restock with healthy snacks instead. In addition, try to develop a meal plan to help your grocery shopping remain focused on health rather than simply shopping with your eyes.
Set Up a Telemedicine Lifeline
One subtle way you can make your home even healthier is by making sure you’re aware of how you can access telemedicine when necessary. Alternative health options are very popular at the moment, and health administrators are doing everything they can to identify and eliminate health risks and high-cost issues within the health system.
You can help in that effort — and improve your home and health connection in the process — by contacting your local doctor and discussing telemedicine options you can access right from home in order to address any physical, mental, or emotional concerns that may arise.
Look for the Details
It’s important to do your own circumstantial research as well. You can often boost your home and health connection in little ways that simply require a little research. For instance, if you live on a well-system, you should make sure your water is properly filtered. Nearby farms and industrial companies can often pollute water — as was the case several years ago when natural gas extraction polluted multiple counties in West Virginia. Filtering your water is a good precaution that can help keep you healthier.
Other examples include adding light to rooms to combat depression, setting up a cleaning schedule to help reduce stress, inviting nature into your home with indoor plants, and decorating with an eye towards comfort and relaxation.
Keep Your Wellness Wholeness in Mind
As you go about looking for ways to increase the health of your home, remember that the ultimate goal isn’t just to be healthy, but to genuinely achieve a state of holistic wellness. This wellness comes from addressing the needs of your mind, body, and spirit, all of which are affected by your home. So take stock of your current living spaces, consider the suggestions above, and begin making improvements to bolster both your health and wellness for the foreseeable in the future.