(HealthyAccess)- For many people around the world, wearing shoes in the house is uncommon. In some Asian cultures, for example, removing one’s shoes indoors is a sign of respect and cleanliness.
There may or may not be cultural issues at play when considering whether or not to wear shoes in the home (or when visiting others). However, there are significant health benefits to leaving our shoes at the door and never, ever wearing them inside the house.
Fecal Matter On Your Shoes
This disgusting fact alone may help us reconsider wearing shoes inside. It’s disturbing to consider tracking fecal matter into the house, but the bottoms of our shoes are far from sanitary. Research shows that even tracking microscopic fecal matter inside the house means potential exposure to E.coli.
Cancer-causing Toxins and Bacteria
It’s possible to track cancer-causing toxins into the home without realizing it. Researchers at Baylor University found that people who live near asphalt are more likely to track cancer-causing toxins inside.
In addition, researchers tested the soles of shoes and found that numerous types of bacteria come inside our homes when we do. While some bacteria are healthy and normal, leaving our shoes at the door is one way to help ensure we don’t bring unnecessary germs inside, especially with indoor pets or young children who play on the floor.
SARS COVID-19 Can Live On Shoes
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), even COVID-19 can be carried on the soles of our shoes. Many hospitals employ the use of shoe coverings to keep spaces sanitary. Additionally, healthcare workers should consider the benefits of washing–and even bleaching–shoes to help lower the risk of transmission. Still, scientists haven’t yet advised a sure-fire way of keeping this virus from being carried in on shoes.
For the average household, the bacteria carried in on our shoes may not have a significant impact on our health. A certain amount of bacterial exposure is healthy. But for people with compromised immune systems or other health issues, leaving shoes at the door can lower their risk of exposure to harmful bacteria and help lead to a healthier home.
By never wearing shoes in our homes, we can limit the amount of harmful bacteria, dirt, viruses, and toxins that we are exposed to in order to keep our homes healthy, sanitary, and safe for ourselves and our visitors.
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