Shoes or No Shoes, Everyone’s Got Problems
Why do the Japanese take their shoes off at the door and wear slippers so often? Because they’re not stupid.
A recent study looked into what kind of microorganisms end up on shoes after two weeks of regular wear. The results? 420,000 units of bacteria, including E. Coli at 27%, as well as Klebsiella pneumonia and Serratia ficaria, both of which can lead to serious infections.
The findings indicate that shoes frequently contact fecal matter, probably in bathrooms and yards, and that shoes not only contact it, but transport it to tile, carpet, and often hands and mouths. Bad, bad news for parents with crawling kids.
But the study also found that some easy precautions really do work: simply removing the shoes when arriving at home, like the Japanese, makes a huge difference.
But what about for people with no shoes?
Numerous non-profits in poor communities report that their number one health fear for their children is worms. All of those horrid diseases on all of our shoes right now they walk through daily. And so the lack of proper shoes can lead to serious illness, malnutrition and even death.
Wiphan (which is a shortened form of “Widows and Orphans”) in Zambia has a yearly drive to provide leather shoes with rubber soles to all of the kids involved with their organization. A pair only costs $14 and will keep a child safe from worms for one year, so that she can walk to class or play with friends in safety, just like the Japanese eat close to the floor without fear.
So take off your shoes for your own health and put them back on for your own health, and be glad you have the opportunity to do both.
Do you wear shoes at home? If so, do these findings change your point of view?
Read more about the study from a parent’s perspective here.
Find the perfect pair of slippers for you and your family to wear at home and, if you’re like me, for your dog to carry around, here.