Green cleaning services have been proven to positively contribute to the mental health and feelings of happiness in building occupants.
The Mental Health Benefits of Green Cleaning Services
The physical health benefits of green cleaning services and improved indoor environment & air quality, as well as a living and working in a toxin-free environment, have been discussed, analyzed, and documented for years.
However, the mental health benefits are often glossed over with the axiom, ‘an improved sense of well-being.’
The oversight is unfortunate, as a clean environment has been shown to have a positive impact on the mind, which translates into improvements in physical health, cognitive function, and task performance.
Primary factors that contribute to a healthy mental state include:
- Indoor air quality, and;
- A clutter free environment.
Mental Health and Indoor Air & Environment Quality
Numerous studies have established the direct correlation between indoor air & environment quality and a person’s physical health.
A 2014 article published by the Huffington Post explains why, in simple language.
Even the Environmental Protection Agency admits that indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than the outdoors.
If the average person spends up to 90 percent of their time indoors, we are breathing in dust mites, pet dander, pollen, mold, bug skeletons, and toxins from such innocuous sources as conventional cleaning products and even chemicals emitted from our own clothing and bedding.
These toxins manifest themselves as symptoms most people attribute to allergies such as itchy eyes, runny nose, and wheezing, but which should actually be blamed on an unclean house.
However, research conducted on mice by the University of Ohio points to the severe damage polluted air does to our brains, specifically inflammation of the hippocampus, ultimately affecting our mental health.
Results showed clear physical differences in the hippocampi of the mice who were exposed to the polluted air, compared to those who weren’t.
In mice that breathed the polluted air, chemical messengers that cause inflammation – called pro-inflammatory cytokines – were more active in the hippocampus than they were in mice who breathed the filtered air.
The hippocampus is particularly sensitive to damage caused by inflammation.
We suspect that the systemic inflammation caused by breathing polluted air is being communicated to the central nervous system.
The study concluded by stating that exposure to high levels of air pollution, especially starting from a young age, increases the likelihood of mental health issues, including:
- Schizophrenia, and;
Mental Health and a Clutter Free Environment
Additionally, as we have shown before, a cluttered working or learning environment can cause additional issues, including:
- Difficulty relaxing, and;
- Inhibits creativity.
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Each of these side effects are demonstrably problematic for schools and offices, and typically fairly easy to resolve with a little professional assistance.
Green Cleaning Tips
- Identify and eliminate all sources of indoor air pollution.
- Discontinue the use of all toxic chemicals used to ‘clean’ your home, classroom, or office and replace them with certified green cleaning products.
- Install HEPA filters in HVAC systems, as practical, and desktop or floor stand models where appropriate.
- Place live plants where possible around the classroom, home, or office to naturally absorb and reduce indoor airborne toxins.
- Remove clutter before it becomes a distraction and implement a practice that prevents clutter from accumulating in living, learning, or working areas.
References & Resources
- Tidy home, tidy mind – Why cleaning makes you feel good
- Spring Cleaning Benefits Beyond a Clean House
- Interactions of Top-Down and Bottom-Up Mechanisms in Human Visual Cortex
As concerns for mental health increase across the United States, we are learning more and more that it is the fabricated environment and the poisons we use to clean them that may be responsible for physically damaging our brains at an early age.
Poor indoor air quality is a significant unseen contributor to devastating mental and emotional health and development issues.
Combined with a chronically cluttered or unclean environment, the external forces on our senses and bodies have been shown to wreak havoc on our minds.
Compounding the issue are toxic chemical cleaners, which add further pollution to the indoor environment, as well as pollute our bodies.
Green cleaning services, combined with LEED focused facilities maintenance and management services can assist your organization with cost-effectively eliminating the numerous causes of indoor air pollution, clutter, and the toxic chemicals commonly used to ‘clean’ your classroom or office.
If you would like to learn more about the advantages of certified green cleaning services and products to improve the health, wealth, and happiness of your school or office, contact us today for a free quote!
In Bakersfield CA, call (661) 437-3253
In Fresno CA, call (559) 206-1059is
In Valencia CA, or Santa Clarita CA, call (661) 437-3253