Most of us spend 90 percent of our time indoors. Especially when there’s still a chill in the air, we tend to avoid the outdoors. It goes without saying that you want to spend time in a place that helps—not hurts—your health, right? While experts agree that human health and the places in which we live our lives are inextricably linked, many of us still don’t realize that the buildings we live and work in can affect our health and well-being.
Everything that surrounds us has the power to facilitate or hinder our physical health, as well as our stress, diet, mood, sleep, even our performance at work. This can go two ways: When our physical environment is working to support our health, we generally feel good, have high energy and low stress, sleep well, and so on. When it’s not, we may actually feel ill or overly stressed, and sleep poorly. In addition, and unbeknownst to us, we may be getting ill due to the toxicity of our environment.
There is plenty you can do to create a healthier home. Some changes are quite small; some require a bit more effort. They all pay off! By choosing Stay Well hotel properties and Well Signature residences, you are already at an advantage to your peers. Here are some additional ways to ensure you enjoy the benefits of a healthy physical environment at home:
￼Buy a better bed: Say goodbye to tossing, turning, and morning backaches by finding a mattress that will facilitate restorative sleep, spinal alignment, and prevention of chronic back issues. Hint: Natural memory foam is best, reducing exposure to synthetic materials.
Clean with nontoxic products: Harmful ingredients in cleaning products can lead to eye, nose, throat and skin irritation, and emit VOCs (volatile organic compounds) into the indoor environment. Cleaning regularly with nontoxic, hypoallergenic cleaners helps to reduce pests, allergens and odors without introducing harmful chemicals into the air.
Filter your water: There are many types of contaminants that can harm water quality. While routine testing helps to keep track of potential pollutants, it doesn’t eliminate all risk. You can help to address the problem by installing a water filtration system.
Control humidity: Extremely low humidity can lead to skin dryness and throat and nose irritation. High humidity can result in the growth of bacteria, dust mites and mold. Neither scenario is a good one. If your building or home does not have a proper ventilation system, use humidifiers and dehumidifiers as needed.