Ditch Your Shoes Inside Your Home – And Join The Barefoot Revolution!
People typically walk everywhere with their shoes on and then walk around their homes without a second’s thought…
Just stop and think about all the places you’ve walked around in today, yesterday and the day before! Was a public bathroom one of them?
Did you know that a typical public bathroom floor contains about 2 million bacteria per square inch?!
A study out of the University of Houston found that 39 percent of shoe soles sampled were contaminated with the bacteria C. diff (Clostridium difficile), a public health threat that is now resistant to a number of antibiotics. C. diff infections can cause severe diarrhea that may progress to colon inflammation and more serious health issues, especially if it does not respond to antibiotic treatment.
“Shoes are contaminated from diverse sources, and we are regularly contaminating our doorsteps by shoes,” says study author M. Jahangir Alam, Ph.D.
Beyond the C. diff risk, there are all kinds of bacteria that could be sneaking into your home via your shoe: most public restroom floors contain about 2 million bacteria per square inch (the average toilet seat has only about 50 per square inch).
These are not the guests you want traipsing around your living room, especially if you have young children who spend a lot of time at floor level.
Many Eastern cultures around the world request that you leave your shoes at the door—not only does it keep those harmful germs out, but it’s also a sign of respect for the home, which should be considered a sanctuary away from the outside world.
Researchers found that more than 90% of the bacteria you wear on your shoes will transfer to tile floors in your home. Carpeting is even worse!
There Are Nasty Toxins, Too!
There are a ton of toxins from the outside environment that can be easily be brought into the home via shoes. A government-funded study found that pesticides like weed killers that are applied to lawns can be tracked into your home on your shoes up to a week after the chemicals have been applied.
What does the study recommend to avoid this? Removing your shoes, of course.
Ditch your sneakers at the door – it damages your floor!
All the dirt brought in with your shoes gets ground into your flooring, causing wear and tear.
So if you want your flooring to last, it is best to keep your shoes by the door. You can also clean less often because no one will be tracking all that dirt and/or sand in.
Walking Barefoot Helps Your Foot Health
Did you know that walking around barefoot at home is really good for your feet? Children who go habitually without shoes have stronger feet, more flexible feet, are less likely to suffer flat feet, and develop fewer podiatric deformities later in life.
As yogis, my wife and I are very comfortable going barefoot – in fact, it’s abnormal to walk around in shoes in our home! Today’s explosion of “yoga culture” worldwide has done much to help people become used to taking their shoes off.
The greatest health secret – going barefoot!
One of the greatest secrets to health is going barefoot – not just inside but outside too.
Of course, I’m not talking about walking around a dirty public bathroom for all the reasons mentioned above – but walking barefoot in your garden, whenever you go to the beach (I’ve some people walking in shoes on the sand!), and wherever else it’s safe to do so outside in nature. This isn’t a hippie, new-age trend – or maybe it is! – but whatever your opinion, the science of earthing is here to stay.
Please, make sure you WASH your feet before you enter your home, if you go barefoot outside!
Alam MJ, Anu A, Walk ST, Garey KW. Investigation of potentially pathogenic Clostridium difficile contamination in household environs. Anaerobe. 2014 Jun;27:31-3. doi: 10.1016/j.anaerobe.2014.03.002
Pegg, D. (2013, November 01). 25 Unexpected Things That Are Dirtier Than Your Toilet. Retrieved from http://list25.com/25-unexpected-things-that-are-dirtier-than-your-toilet/