Hygiene is Two-Thirds of Health

Hygiene is two-thirds of health.

2/3rd of our health?! Hard to believe??

It is a true fact.

Hygiene is a basic human need and we know that it is common sense to practice it in our day to day life. But the number of diseases that are spread by the very lack of this ‘common sense’ habit, is staggering!

Sanitation and Hygiene play a big role in our everyday lives. With the kind of health risks that pose a threat to us today, it is more important than ever, for us to maintain good hygienic habits. And it all starts at home!

Hygiene, which is basically practicing certain activities in our life that lead to maintenance of health and prevention of diseases, is divided into three categories:

Personal Hygiene : Studies show that, 80 percent of infections are transmitted by direct and indirect contact, thus, hand washing is the most important thing we can do to protect our self! And others!  Every hand we shake, every hand rail we touch, every door knob, every light switch, every counter top, every dog we pet…simply everything we touch can place dangerous germs on our hands.

The importance of hand washing can be assessed by looking at the spread of germs found on human hands. Given below are a few examples:


Here’s a checklist of times when we need to wash our hands. I know, this may sound so petty and trivial and something that we all know. These are the basics… right! But mostly the basic rituals are the ones that are most often forgotten and ignored! Just check, how many check marks (✓) you get…

    • After using the washroom at home or at any public place. 6 Steps of Washing Hands
    • Before as well as after eating food.
    • After visiting a patient at the hospital.
    • Before and after one starts cooking food.
    • After changing a baby’s diaper.
    • After touching pets or cleaning their faeces.
    • Before touching young infants and children.
    • Before and after touching injured areas and changing the dressing of a wounded person.
    • After collecting and throwing out garbage.
    • After sneezing, coughing and blowing our nose.
    • After cleaning around the house.
    • After being outside (playing, gardening, walking the dog, etc.)
    • After handling dirty laundry.

Also hands should be always washed with a soap. If that is not done then we are actually  smearing the germs all over our hands and giving them a wider surface area to operate and/or if we are not washing well or long enough then we have got live germs on our hands ready to transfer to our foods, friends’ hands we shake or even people we hug…

Home Hygiene : We love keeping our homes clean. But are they really clean? However clean a home looks, the deadly little germs can still be lurking around. The door knobs, the handrails, the upholstery and bedding, the TV remote, computer keyboard, toilet brush, soap dispensers, kitchen napkins, vacuum cleaner are all hotbeds of bacterial and viral activity. Take a moment to check this cleaning time-table. If you are managing your home as per this schedule, you are doing great!

Several Times in a DayOnce Every DayOnce -Twice Every Week Once a Month

Wash dishes and cooking utensils after each meal

Sweep the floors

Wash the floors

Clean cupboards, windows and walls

Clean kitchen slab before and after food preparation

Empty the kitchen rubbish bin

Wash the bed linen

Clean refrigerator, gas stove

Clean toilets

Dust the surfaces

Get rid of cobwebs

Food Hygiene : In a survey, 15 per cent of squeaky clean-looking fridges were heavily contaminated with bugs. Hard to believe. Right? But then it’s true. How many of us wash the milk packets and then keep them in the fridge. And what about the vegetables and fruits? Mostly, a refrigerator is used as a cold cabinet. So the vegetables and fruits are kept either without washing or in the carry bags we got from the market. Imagine the dirt and the germs that we are allowing to stay and thrive in our refrigerators.

How about washing the pack of bread or the eggs or a juice tetra pack or a cold drink can or the pack of chips… just about any eatable pack? And is it hygienic to pack food in newspapers or letting the newspaper soak the oil as we fry hot yummies?


Sanitation and hygiene begins at Home! Implementing good hygiene practices, personally and at home has both health and social benefits. What is your take on this?

Swachh IndiaThis post is written for Indiblogger and Banega Swachh India #SwachhIndia

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  1. Sanitation & hygiene are indeed important. Home is the place to start. Nicely described 🙂
    I have shared your comment in my latest #SwachhIndia post. Do check it out 🙂

    • Oh yes, home is where we learn these basic habits and it has to start early in life. Thanks for the mention on your post, Anita! Appreciate it 🙂

    • That’s the way it should be because studies have revealed that handshakes transfers 10 times more bacteria than fist bumps and high fives! And the longest, firmest handshakes transmitted the most germs!!
      Yes, TV remote is the dirtiest of all!

  2. I keep telling my daughter to wash her hands after coming home from school and before/after a meal. It is now finally becoming a little more automatic 🙂

    The importance of hygiene cannot be over emphasised. That house cleaning checklist looks valuable. Thank you!

    • That’s a great practice, Raj!
      They say that the towels tend to retain moisture for long periods of time, allowing the bacteria to survive and we can spread these germs everywhere in the kitchen through these contaminated kitchen towels/cloths!

  3. This is a topic that needs to be written about more and more, especially in India… Such simple things for people to follow and it could go such a long way in improving the health standards of this country

  4. I did not know think about washing hands necessarily AFTER preparing food. Thanks for bringing that to my awareness Shilpa though I do the handwashing with almost everything else. And in terms of cleaning, well I can certainly amp up in that department too! 😉 <3

  5. Oh so true! I am a cleanliness freak and this stresses me when others don’t practice and can even give me a throbbing headache.I always carry a sanitizer when outside, and indoors i follow most of what you said, but i wash only milk packets, i don’t wash tetrapaks or vegetable packets, i don’t like wet surfaces.About home hygiene, you said it right.

    Long back, i remember watching a short film on Discovery channel and it showed the germs through a magnifying glass. There was a mini zoo on sofa which looked squeaky clean to the naked eye. Ever since then i am paranoid about using things in public. Sometimes, i don’t touch banisters or walls at public places and avoid using public toilets.

    • I know what you mean, Asha! I wash all my grocery items and keep them for drying in a basket and then place them in the cupboards/fridge.
      I am with you… even I don’t touch banisters, and at a buffet, I hold the serving spoons with a paper napkin. 😀