In many cultures, it is customary to take off your shoes before entering a house. While this tradition may have started by preventing visitors from dragging mud or dirt on floors and carpets, there is a lot of scientific research supporting this practice in order to ward off invisible germs as well.
Taking off your shoes when entering a house helps keep the interior space clean. It could also help keep everyone inside healthier.
What are the benefits of removing my shoes indoors?
The most obvious benefit of a « no shoes inside » policy is that dirt from the outside will not be scattered throughout the house. Can this mean less time spent cleaning and vacuuming floors? Incidentally, it could also mean a longer life for your rugs.
Removing your shoes indoors also reduces the possible transmission of disease-causing bacteria. Infectious bacteria can attach to shoes when you walk outside. In public toilets and other places with high concentrations of pathogens. Pathogens are organisms that cause disease.
The sole and cracks of the shoes are ideal places for bacteria to linger.
Here are some of the bacteria that can cling to the soles of your shoes and spread inside:
1 Escherichia coli (E. coli)
E. coli is one of the most common bacteria found on the soles of shoes. This bacteria can cause intestinal and urinary infections. And while E. coli can be found everywhere, it is more common in rural areas where there is droppings from farm animals and other wildlife where people walk.
2 Clostridium difficile (C. diff)
The bacteria C. diff causes particularly foul-smelling diarrhea and can trigger colitis, an inflammation of the colon. The risk of footwear contamination with C. diff is high, especially in urban areas.
3 Staphylococcus aureus
Staphylococcus aureus (staphylococcus) bacteria are the most dangerous of the different types of Staphylococcus bacteria. Staphylococcus aureus bacteria are most commonly found on the shoes of people working in health care settings and in food services.
Pesticides and herbicides used on crops, parks, golf courses and other places can follow you inside on the soles of your shoes. These chemicals are associated with health risks as minor as irritation to the skin or eyes, and as serious as cancer.
Are there any risks of not wearing shoes indoors?
Of course, walking barefoot indoors also carries its share of health risks. Bacteria and fungi can be present in household dust, especially in homes where humidity is a problem and when surfaces are not cleaned regularly.
Having a pet can also help increase the levels of bacteria in the home.
However, not having shoes on or wearing slippers with slick soles indoors can also make you more vulnerable to accidents. Half of the falls were in people who were barefoot or who wore only socks or slippers. To reduce the risk of falls at home, older people should consider wearing sneakers or other sturdy footwear only indoors.
What are the tips for removing shoes indoors?
Here are some tips to make shoe removal a common and easy practice in your home:
– Set up a space for shoes just behind or near the entrance door. Keep shoes tidy with a shoe rack.
– Place a sign just inside your door or on a welcome mat. Include a message such as “Leave your worries (and your shoes) at the door”.
– You just have to ask. Politely ask your guests if they want to take their shoes off.
– Keep slippers or house shoes close to where you store them. This way it will be quick and easy to change them.