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A spring cleaning story (sort of)

  • Posted by Vaughan
  • 10 Apr 08, 11:04 AM

Three times a week here on Ouch, we update our news page with all sort of disability-related headlines. Over many years of doing this, I've become just a little bit obsessed by all those 'Doing X or Y improves mental health' stories that occur as a result of some latest piece of scientific research. And it seems that a new one comes along every couple of weeks, more or less.

Today's entrant into this hall of fame is Cleaning 'improves mental health' - and to reinforce the point, our colleagues at BBC News accompany the story with a photo of a woman down on her hands and knees, scrubbing the kitchen floor. Nice.

Read more closely, though, and it turns out that the report by the British Journal of Sports Medicine is in fact talking about "20 minutes of sustained exercise a week - from cleaning to jogging", and that many of those more vigorous and strenuous household chores are a good example of that. Sadly, this isn't about floating airily about the place with a feather duster (which is all I like to do, if I'm honest).

Then again, I can personally vouch for the change in my mood that some satisfying house-cleaning can bring about. In my experience, it can make me feel better to see shining floors and dust-free surfaces, clean cupboards and a buffed-up three-piece suite. I'm no domestic god(dess), however, since it normally takes me a few weeks for my place to get into such a dreadful state before I decide to attack it in a single-minded mission to clean up.

So - cleaning? Improved mental health? Will you be breaking out the floor cleaner and a mop this coming weekend?

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Is cleaning until you're out of breath going to cure people of OCD, then?

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