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New study on colds and flu and your personality

October marks the start of this year’s cold and flu season. It is important to note that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate up to 60 million Americans will contract the flu this year. That means missed work and school days, no

October marks the start of this year’s cold and flu season. It is important to note that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate up to 60 million Americans will contract the flu this year. That means missed work and school days, not to mention the physical and emotional toll being sick can take on sufferers. A recent study found that your personality and hygiene habits can increase or decrease your risk of getting ill.
October marks the start of this year’s cold and flu season. It is important to note that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate up to 60 million Americans will contract the flu this year. That means missed work and school days, not to mention the physical and emotional toll being sick can take on sufferers. A recent study found that your personality and hygiene habits can increase or decrease your risk of getting ill.

LYSOL HABIT Study

Realizing the role of good hygiene in helping to prevent the spread of germs, the Global Hygiene Council has issued data from the international LYSOL HABIT Study (Hygiene: Attitudes, Behavior, Insight and Traits) that shows certain personality traits, good manners and occupational status appear to have a beneficial effect on personal and household hygiene practices, as well as overall wellness.

Hygiene habits and the common cold and flu

According to the study, 54 percent of people surveyed globally reported good personal hygiene.  Researchers uncovered several novel findings that influenced hygiene scores, including the following:

  • Conscientious or nervous personality types reported experiencing 10 percent fewer colds than others.

  • Those with good manners, such as covering their mouths when sneezing, were almost two-and-a-half times more likely to have good health. 

  • Hygiene habits varied by profession, with homemakers reporting the highest level of personal hygiene (65 percent) and students reporting the worst (45 percent).

  • About 56 percent of Americans wash their hands 5 or more times a day.


Americans rank low on household hygiene

The LYSOL HABIT study broke down hygiene practices by country in an effort to highlight where certain behaviors are more prevalent. While the U.S. reported high levels of frequent hand-washing (a personal hygiene habit), its rank for household hygiene fell into the bottom half against other countries.  Household hygiene scores were based on such factors as frequency of surface cleaning, tidiness and having an established house cleaning routine.

Are you going to change your hygiene habits?

“Results of this study should empower Americans to improve or maintain their personal and household hygiene in order to help break the chain of transmission,” says Professor John Oxford, Chairman of the Hygiene Council and Professor of Virology at St. Barts and The London School of Dentistry.  “The CDC urges all of us to practice certain health habits to help prevent the flu, including frequent hand-washing and cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces when someone in your household is sick.”

Your hygiene habits can keep others healthy (or sick)

“Adopting good hygiene habits is a responsibility we all share.  It is important for families to integrate regular hygiene practices at home, school and work throughout the year to keep germs from spreading, especially during cold and flu season,” says Dr. Laura A Jana, board-certified pediatrician and award-winning parenting book author.

Get the healthy habit facts to avoid getting colds and flu

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