Revealed: The UK's most calming cleaning task, according to a new study

·2-min read
Photo credit: BrianAJackson / Getty Images
Photo credit: BrianAJackson / Getty Images

Whether you love or loathe cleaning your home, have you ever thought about the benefits that it could have for your mental health and wellbeing?

A recent study by British design company, Joseph Joseph, looked at how certain cleaning tasks can affect our stress levels, heart rates and even our overall emotional wellbeing.

Each participant was given a smartwatch to wear to monitor their heart rates while they performed a variety of cleaning tasks. They also filled out a survey to document how they felt emotionally both during and after each task.

According to the data, there were some surprisingly positive results...

Photo credit: djedzura / Getty Images
Photo credit: djedzura / Getty Images

Almost two thirds of participants (60.9%,) felt happier and more productive after cleaning, while around half felt more at ease and less stressed. The same could be said about feeling calmer and more relaxed, with only 4.3% experiencing more stress after cleaning.

Participants also enjoyed seeing the end results after cleaning, and felt a sense of accomplishment. An impressive 96% of participants said that they felt more productive and motivated as a result of cleaning, and almost half would rather clean their homes themselves than hire a cleaner due to the wellbeing benefits.

But why does cleaning make us feel better? According to a study at Indiana University, “clutter and mess have been proven to negatively impact mental wellbeing and lead to feelings of depression and anxiety.”

Photo credit: AsiaVision / Getty Images
Photo credit: AsiaVision / Getty Images

So, which cleaning tasks are best to help us feel calmer and less stressed?

Dusting was revealed as the UK's favourite cleaning task, helping around 20% of participants to feel in control. It also had a calming effect, and is one of the tasks that you can do at a more leisurely speed.

According to the study, it may be best to avoid cleaning your floors if you're trying to relax, as this was the one task that had more of a negative impact, with 17% of participants feeling stressed as a result.

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