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Is cleaning good for our mental health?

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Waitwhatintheworld - Blog - Is cleaning good for us? - Hero
Waitwhatintheworld - Blog - Is cleaning good for us? - Hero

Whether you love it or loathe it, cleaning is a fact of life, and there are plenty of studies to highlight its many benefits.

With the involvement of a group of participants, we conducted an experiment to find out just how good cleaning is for mental health. Each participant was fitted out with a smart watch to monitor heart rates while performing a variety of cleaning tasks. They also filled out a survey to document their emotional state. Keep scrolling to find out if cleaning really has a positive impact on your wellbeing.

Waitwhatintheworld - Blog - Is cleaning good for us? - Effects of cleaning on emotions

How does cleaning affect our mood?

Our survey found that cleaning had an overwhelmingly positive affect on our mood with 96% of participants feeling more productive and motivated as a result. 91% of participants experienced a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing while 71% of participants felt more relaxed. The response was so positive, that 45% said they would prefer to clean themselves than hire someone to do it for them.

What is our least-favourite cleaning task?

Let’s be honest, not all cleaning tasks are fun, but the one that people least prefer may surprise you. No, it’s not the dishes, or emptying the bin. In fact, cleaning floors trumped them all with 17% of participants feeling stressed as a result. The demanding physicality of cleaning floors saw heart rates average around 132-134 beats per minute, proving that cleaning is no walk in the park. It’s not all bad, though – 34% of participants found themselves to feel more motivated while cleaning floors.

How do other cleaning tasks make us feel?

The floors proved a challenge, but how did our participants get on with other household tasks? 20% found themselves bored while doing the washing-up. But 20% found washing-up to help them feel calm and in control. Heart rates averaged 84bpm during the task.

Dusting also helped 21% of participants feel in control, although 17% found themselves distracted. Based on heart rates, which averaged about 87bmp after 20 minutes of work, dusting had a calming effect on our participants.

Waitwhatintheworld - Blog - Is cleaning good for us? - Effects of cleaning on heart rates

So, cleaning is good for us?

According to our data, 60.9% of participants felt happier and more productive after cleaning. 52.2% felt at ease, 47.8% felt less stressed and 43.5% felt calmer and more relaxed. Just 4.3% felt more stressed after cleaning.

Participants enjoyed the end results, feeling a sense of accomplishment afterwards. Heart rates after cleaning were lower than before, averaging 63bpm. Proof that a clean home is a relaxing place to be.

Waitwhatintheworld - Blog - Is cleaning good for us? - How participants feel after cleaning

Why does cleaning make us feel good?

There is positive psychology behind why cleaning and being organised can make us feel good. According to a study at Indiana University, people with clean houses are generally healthier than people with messy houses. As our heart-rate data shows, the beats per minute rapidly rise while cleaning; proof that cleaning is a workout in itself.

Clutter and mess have been proven to negatively impact mental wellbeing and lead to feelings of depression and anxiety, so grab your dusters and brushes and get ready to clean, clear your mind and get your heart rate going.

Feeling inspired to clean?

We thought so. Let our cleaning essentials help you tick off your checklist with ease.

Waitwhatintheworld - Blog - Is cleaning good for us? - Feeling inspired to clean? - Cleaning Collection

Methodology

For this campaign, we selected a group of 30 people to do various cleaning tasks while wearing heart-rate monitors and had them record their heart rate while performing three different tasks at 1, 5, 10 & 20-minute intervals. They also recorded their heart rate post-clean at 5, 10, 20, 30, 50 & 60 minutes.

The group also recorded their emotional state in a survey, answering how it changed during and after specific tasks.

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