Clean House Linked to Better Fitness

WEDNESDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- People with tidy homes are more likely to be physically active than those with messy dwellings, new findings suggest.

Indiana University researchers assessed the physical activity levels of 998 residents of St. Louis, aged 49 to 65, who were participants in a study of black health. In addition, the study authors rated the interior and exterior of the participants' homes and immediate vicinity, including cleanliness, furnishings, noise, air quality and the conditions of buildings.

"At the end of the day, the interior condition of their house seemed to be the only thing affecting their physical activity. It was not at all what we expected," NiCole Keith, associate professor in the physical education department at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis, said in a university news release.

The findings suggest that something about the condition of a person's home affects levels of physical activity or that people get exercise while they keep their homes clean.

"Are the types of people who take care of their bodies the same types of people who take care of their homes?" Keith wondered.

The study may point to new ways to promote physical activity among city dwellers.

"If you spend your day dusting, cleaning, doing laundry, you're active," she said. Certain people may not "take 30 minutes to go for a walk, but they'll take 30 minutes to clean."

The study was scheduled to be presented Wednesday at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine in Baltimore.

-- Robert Preidt

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SOURCE: Indiana University, news release, June 2, 2010