OAKLAND, Calif. — Need to inject some positivity into your home? A little spring cleaning might just do the trick, a new study finds.
Clorox, the household name in the cleaning industry, recently released findings from a multifaceted study it conducted in which the findings suggest that keeping a neat living space promotes empathy.
The study’s first component consisted of an online survey of 2,000 American adults which found that those who enjoyed the act of cleaning were 25% happier that those who did not.
Furthermore, those who frequently spruced up the house didn’t seem to experience diminishing returns: for each extra hour of cleaning a week, the average respondent’s happiness increased by 53%.
Regular cleaning was also associated with other positive health outcomes, including improved relaxation (indicated by 80% of respondents), heightened focus (77%), better sleep (72%), and increased productivity (72%), the researchers found.
Respondents who also happened to be parents were asked additional questions about how they believed their kids benefited from cleaning their room.
Nearly 60% of parents said their kids studied better when their room was clean, and about half (49%) indicated that their child’s behavior saw marked improvement.
On a related note, teaching cleaning habits from a young age conferred great benefits: children who were assigned cleaning as a chore were 64% more likely to exhibit empathy, and 60% more willing to help others in their community as an adult.
“There’s nothing more important to me as a dad than making sure my kids grow up to be kind and resilient adults and I think that’s something that connects all parents,” comments actor Sterling K. Brown, a celebrity spokesman for Clorox, in a press release.
The study’s second component had 20 participants take part in an experiment that was intended to help validate the survey’s prior results.
Participants, who were filmed and equipped with biometric sensors, were asked to enter two rooms that were nearly identical. The catch? One room was filthy and the other spotless.
Using the tools at their disposal, the researchers found that participants saw a 45% and 44% increase in “liking” and “attraction” (correlated with improved happiness); a 20% improvement in critical thinking ability (correlated with increased productivity); and 127% decrease in disgust (correlated with stress) upon entering the clean room.
For all of you slobs out there, there’s now actual proof that keeping your house a mess has real consequences.
Clorox’s survey was conducted online in late September of last year. The study’s experimental component was conducted in early November, and a statistical modeling technique was used to analyze its results.