Hygiene - Term Overview

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The term hygiene refers to the practices of cleaning and personal hygiene, of homes and public spaces. Hygiene is important in the lives of human beings since its absence has negative consequences for the health of the body and society as a whole.

While the origins of these practices can be traced back to ancient Greece, hygiene was established as a branch of medicine at the beginning of the twentieth century in order to prevent disease and preserve health physical and mental of the populations.

Thanks to the conception of hygiene as a science , many diseases were prevented in various countries. Access to basic services such as electricity, gas or electricity contribute to the maintenance of personal and urban hygiene.

Importance and benefits of hygiene

Maintaining personal hygiene, as well as in the domestic and work environment, is essential to take care of one's own health and that of others, since it generates protection against diseases and increases the quality of life of individuals. For this, it's important to incorporate hygiene habits and routines, such as brushing teeth or washing hair, which must be transmitted from generation to generation in the family and educational environment.

The health of a community depends on the health of each member of the population. That is why it's important to generate awareness campaigns that provide information on the importance of some practices, such as hand washing or cleaning in the work environment.

Hygiene types

Hygiene can be classified according to particular characteristics, the two groups in which it's classified are:

- Public hygiene: Hygiene practices carried out by the competent authority of a town or city that acts considering the circumstances and needs of the population as a whole. For example: sewage networks or drinking water networks . Public campaigns are often carried out to disseminate information regarding hygiene.
- Private hygiene: Hygiene practices carried out by individuals in a particular way, be it their body hygiene or that of the physical space they inhabit.

Hygiene examples

Occupational hygiene

It involves measures that protect the physical and mental integrity of workers.

Three groups of measures are distinguished:

- Social conditions: the climate among the workers, the environment and the hierarchical and informal organization.
- Temporary conditions: the amount of working hours, vacations and overtime.
- Environmental conditions: the physical space in which the worker operates.

Body hygiene

It involves practices that contribute to body cleansing, with special attention to the skin, nails, and hair.

The skin is the largest organ of the body and protects it from possible environmental attacks. For it to be in good condition, the removal of dry skin, dust and secretions from the glands of the body is recommended. It's important to note that the abuse of some cleaning products, such as chlorine or detergent, are harmful to the skin.

Sports hygiene

It involves practices that are beneficial to health and allow you to achieve better sporting levels, especially in competitive spaces. It's necessary to pay attention to the body before, during and after physical activity. First of all, it's advisable to visit a doctor to check if the body is fit for the desired activity.

You should start with gentle activities so that the body can prepare and it's recommended to drink water to keep the body hydrated, hydration continues even after the activity is finished. The clothing used must be clean, comfortable and not inhibit perspiration.

Specialists say that it's not good to end the task suddenly, so it's necessary to do a gentler activity once the exercise is finished. Finally, it's recommended to take a bath to sanitize the body.

School hygiene

It refers to the hygiene practices that are carried out within a school or university. On the one hand, it includes teaching and promoting hygiene habits in students and other members of the institution. In addition, it takes into account the cleaning and maintenance in optimal conditions of common spaces such as classrooms, bathrooms and offices.

Mental hygiene

It refers to those practices that an individual develops to keep their mental health in balance; such as activities or habits that cope with stressful situations, changes in the social and physical environment, or situations of fear or anxiety.

Among the routines used to maintain mental hygiene are: managing emotions, tolerance to frustration, satisfaction of basic needs, developing an attitude of gratitude, balance in sleep, taking care of physical health, a balanced diet, physical activity, social ties, among others.

Industrial hygiene

It refers to the practices that are carried out within the scope of work and that seek to avoid risks to the health of workers and their exposure to diseases or work accidents.

Industrial hygiene promotes the conditioning and cleanliness of work environments in order to reduce the exposure of workers to factors that alter their physical or mental health.

Oral hygiene

It refers to those cleaning practices of the body, specifically mouth, tongue, gums and teeth. For this, habits such as: brushing your teeth regularly, going to the dentist for a check-up or flossing are recommended.

Hygiene in posture

It refers to avoiding postures or efforts that can have harmful effects on the spine. The spine should receive special attention, since it's the main structure of the human body, when it's not cared for, back pain and abnormalities can appear.

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