What are the health habits that should become instinctive and effortless for every worker? What acts can we make our lower nerve centers—our subconscious selves—do for us or remind us to do? The following constitutes a daily routine that should be as involuntary as the process of digestion:
1. Throw the bedding over the foot of the bed.
2. Close the window that has been open during the night.
3. Drink a glass of water.
4. Bathe the face, neck, crotch, chest, armpits (finishing if not beginning with cold water), and particularly the eyes, ears, and nose. If time and conveniences permit, bathe all over.
5. Cleanse the finger nails.
6. Cleanse the teeth, especially the places that are out of sight and hard to reach.
7. Breakfast punctually at a regular hour. Eat lightly and only what agrees with you. If you read a morning paper, be interested in news items that have to do with personal and community vitality.
8. Visit the toilet; if impracticable at home, have a regular time at business.
9. Have several minutes in the open air, preferably walking.
10. Be punctual at work.
11. As your right by contract, insist upon a supply of fresh air for your workroom with the same emphasis you use in demanding sufficient heat in zero weather.
12. Eat punctually at noon intermission; enjoy your meal and its after effects.
13. Breathe air out of doors a few minutes, preferably walking.
14. Resume business punctually.
15. Stop work regularly.
16. Take out-of-door exercise—indoor only when fresh air is possible—that you enjoy and that agrees with you.
17. Be regular, temperate, and leisurely in eating the evening meal; eat nothing that disagrees with you.
18. Spend the evening profitably and pleasantly and in ways compatible with the foregoing habits.
19. Retire regularly at a fixed hour, making up for irregularity by an earlier hour next night.
20, 21, 22. Repeat 4, 6, 8.
23. Turn underclothes wrong side out for ventilation.
24. Open windows.
25. Relax mind and body and go to sleep.
No man chronically neglects any one of the above rules without reducing his industrial efficiency. No man chronically neglects all of them without becoming, sooner or later, a health bankrupt.
In addition to this daily routine, there are certain other acts that should become habitual:
1. Bathing less frequently than once a week is almost as dangerous to health as it is to attractiveness.
2. Distaste for unclean linen or undergarments and for acts or foods that interfere with vitality should become instinctive.
3. Excesses in eating or playing should be automatically corrected the next day and the next. Parties we shall continue to have. It will be some time before reasonable hours and reasonable refreshments will prevail. Meanwhile it is probably better for an individual to sacrifice somewhat his own vitality for the sake of the union, the class, or the church. While trying to improve group habits, one can acquire the habit of not eating three meals in one, of eating less next day, of sleeping longer next night, of being particularly careful to have plenty of outdoor air.
4. Visits to the dentist twice a year at least, and whenever a cavity appears, even if only a week after the dentist has failed to find one; whenever the gums begin to recede; and whenever anything seems to be wrong with the teeth.
5. Periodic physical examination by a physician.
6. Examination by a competent physician whenever any disorder cannot be satisfactorily explained by violation of the daily routine or by interruption of business or domestic routine.