How have our homes, lifestyle, and health changed in the past generation or so? Consider when the following household scenario most likely took place -
"When weather permitted, the front door was left open and the screen door could be heard slamming shut as children and their dog ran out of the house.
Most of us would say that this lifestyle scenario dates at least two, three or more decades ago. So what’s different today?
Although the lifestyle depicted is still embraced by some, it is most likely limited to those living in rural, small town, or village settings. For the last twenty years, as society continues to acquire more technological possessions, we’re spending more and more time indoors. The average child spends over seven hours each day in front of an electronic screen, and as little as 30 minutes playing outside. Along with this sedentary lifestyle, obesity rates have risen, especially among children. Thus, it is important to assess our lifestyle to ensure that our homes become a haven for healthy living.
Modern houses are largely furnished with synthetic materials. We breathe in numerous chemicals, toxins and potential allergens from the carpets, paint, household products, and cleaning solutions in our homes. In the comfort of our heating and air conditioning systems, it becomes easier and easier to stay inside. Is there a price to pay for being encapsulated in these modern comfort conveniences? As houses become more fortified, we are losing our vital connection to the natural world. Spending time outside reduces stress, and increases our vitamin D levels, which strengthens bones and muscles, and enhances brain and immune function.
Is Your Home Allergy or Asthma Central?
If the residents of your home have reoccurring headaches, allergy, asthma, or other respiratory issues, it’s time to evaluate and reduce exposure to environmental irritants, (known as volatile organic compounds or VOCs). Check carpets, padding, mattresses, closets, and walls for mold and mildew. The presence of formaldehyde in carpet glue, and certain laminate flooring can cause breathing problems, burning sensations in the throat or eyes, and lead to serious illnesses, including cancer, as we read in USA Today and other recent news reports.
Household pests can cause illnesses too. The Washington Post reported that, “Cockroaches can be potential triggers of asthma symptoms among children allergic to them, says Stephen Teach, an emergency room physician at Children’s National Medical Center who also runs the asthma clinic. Decomposing cockroach bodies and their excrement easily become airborne, and can be inhaled into the bronchial tubes.”
More Ways to Turn Your House into a Healthy Haven
About the Author:
Deborah Tukua is the editor of Journey to Natural Living and the author of the healthy fresh from the blender recipe book, Naturally Sweet Blender Treats. She is a freelance writer for the Farmers' Almanac and Chiropractic Economics magazine and author of the book, Marketing Strategies for Chiropractic Success. Check out Lowell and Deborah's super sturdy and handsome DIY Gardening Potting Bench Plans.
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