10 importance of hygiene

The benefits accruing from being hygienic can never be overestimated but before I unravel the 10 importance of hygiene, it remains of utmost consideration you know what hygiene is really.

Hygiene refers to practices, habits, and conditions that help maintain health and prevent the spread of diseases. The term is often used to refer to cleanliness and sanitation.

It is an integral part of public health, as good hygiene practices can prevent disease outbreaks and ensure the overall health of a population.

Categories of hygiene

See below;

Personal Hygiene

This involves the cleanliness of the individual body. It includes a range of activities like regular bathing, washing hands, especially before meals and after using the restroom, brushing and flossing teeth, wearing clean clothes, trimming nails, and maintaining hair cleanliness. Personal hygiene is crucial in preventing diseases and infections that can be transmitted through dirt, sweat, and physical contact.

  • Oral Hygiene: A subcategory of personal hygiene, oral hygiene specifically refers to maintaining the cleanliness of the mouth, teeth, gums, and tongue. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups can prevent dental diseases like cavities, gum diseases, and bad breath.
10 importance of hygiene
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Environmental Hygiene

This refers to keeping one’s surroundings clean. It includes proper waste disposal, keeping living spaces clean and clutter-free, maintaining clean public spaces, and ensuring safe and clean water supplies.

Proper environmental hygiene helps to reduce the spread of diseases, particularly those that can be transmitted through the environment, such as malaria or cholera.

Food Hygiene

This pertains to the preparation, handling, and storage of food in ways that prevent foodborne illnesses. Practices include washing hands before handling food, ensuring food is cooked at the right temperatures, storing food properly, and avoiding cross-contamination.

Occupational Hygiene

This type of hygiene is related to maintaining health and safety in the workplace. It involves identifying, evaluating, and controlling physical, chemical, and biological agents in the workplace that could cause illness or injury.

For instance, in healthcare settings, this could mean sterilizing instruments, washing hands frequently, and wearing protective clothing.

Sleep Hygiene

While not about cleanliness, sleep hygiene refers to the practices and habits that promote better quality sleep and full daytime alertness. It includes maintaining a regular sleep schedule, ensuring a quiet and dark sleep environment, and avoiding caffeinated drinks before bedtime.

Mental Hygiene

Again, not directly related to cleanliness, mental hygiene refers to practices that maintain mental and emotional health.

These practices might include stress management techniques, regular exercise, maintaining a balanced diet, ensuring adequate sleep, socializing, and, if needed, seeking professional help for mental health issues.

10 personal hygiene practices everyone must know

Here are 10 important personal hygiene practices:

  1. Hand Washing: Wash your hands frequently, especially before meals, after using the toilet, and after contact with dirt or germs.
  2. Bathing/Showering: Regularly wash your body and hair to remove dirt, sweat, and dead skin cells that can accumulate and lead to various health issues.
  3. Oral Hygiene: Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss regularly to maintain oral health and prevent dental diseases.
  4. Nail Care: Keep your nails clean and trimmed. Dirty or long nails can harbor bacteria and germs.
  5. Toilet Hygiene: Use toilet paper or bidet to clean yourself after using the toilet, and always wash your hands afterwards.
  6. Healthy Diet: Consuming a balanced diet is a vital part of personal hygiene as it boosts your immune system and keeps you healthy.
  7. Hair Care: Regularly wash and comb your hair to prevent scalp diseases and dandruff.
  8. Wearing Clean Clothes: Always wear clean clothes as dirty clothes can harbor bacteria and lead to skin infections.
  9. Facial Care: Regularly clean your face to remove dirt, oil, and dead skin cells. This can prevent skin issues like acne.
  10. Proper Coughing/Sneezing Etiquette: Always cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze to prevent spreading germs to others. It’s best to use a tissue or the inside of your elbow rather than your hands.

Frequently Asked Questions about Hygiene

Here are the answers to some of the most asked questions relating to hygiene;

  • Why is personal hygiene important? Personal hygiene is important because it helps prevent the spread of diseases and infections, improves personal comfort and well-being, and is key to maintaining healthy interactions with others.
  • How often should I wash my hands? Ideally, you should wash your hands multiple times a day, particularly before preparing or eating food, after using the toilet, after sneezing, coughing, or blowing your nose, after touching garbage, and whenever they look dirty.
  • How does poor hygiene affect health? Poor hygiene can lead to skin complaints, unpleasant smells, and bacterial or fungal infections. It can also lead to the spread of infectious diseases. Oral hygiene issues can lead to dental problems such as gum diseases and tooth loss.
  • What is the correct way to wash hands? Wet your hands with clean, running water, apply soap, and lather your hands by rubbing them together. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds, then rinse your hands well under clean, running water. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
  • How often should I brush my teeth? It’s recommended to brush your teeth at least twice a day, typically in the morning and before bed. Dentists also recommend flossing daily.
  • Is using hand sanitizer as effective as washing hands? Hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in many situations, but they do not eliminate all types of germs. Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of all types of germs in most situations.
  • How often should I change my bed sheets? It’s recommended to change and wash bed sheets at least once every one to two weeks. If you sweat a lot at night or are sick, you should change them more frequently.
  • How does food hygiene affect our health? Proper food hygiene practices prevent foodborne illnesses. Contaminated food can lead to a variety of illnesses, from stomach upset to more serious conditions like food poisoning, listeria, and salmonella.
  • How can I maintain hygiene in a public place? Avoid touching surfaces as much as possible, use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available, avoid close contact with people who are ill, cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and avoid touching your face.
  • What is sleep hygiene and why is it important? Sleep hygiene refers to the habits and practices that are conducive to sleeping well on a regular basis. Good sleep hygiene is important because it can improve the quality of your sleep, thereby boosting your mood, energy levels, productivity, and overall health.

A final thought about 10 importance of hygiene

Hygiene impacts all aspects of our lives – from personal and social to occupational and environmental. It is a crucial part of public health and a responsibility shared by all individuals, communities, and societies.


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