For many office workers, most days are spent sitting in front of a computer monitor for several hours at a time. Even those not perched at a desk for eight hours a day can often find their evenings parked in front of a TV screen.
On top of that, many of us are also guilty of spending downtime, bedtime and even meal-times peering into a phone screen, endlessly scrolling through Facebook feeds and Twitter timelines. After all, those cat videos and dog memes aren’t going to “like” themselves, right?
Nevertheless, all that screen glare isn’t good for the eyes. Luckily, there’s a simple workaround for this and regular breaks can be a wise move. Better still, switching off completely can have untold health perks, particularly when that time is spent outside.
Benefits of being outdoors
Spending more time outdoors can have a whole host of health benefits, with the potential to heal mind, body and soul. These can range from improved vision to increased mental performance, all from simply stepping outside and escaping the confines of your living room or workplace.
Now we’re not saying you need to spend your days wandering the Earth with nothing but a pop-up tent for nightly shelter, but a healthy dose of natural sunlight and fresh air can truly work wonders.
Don’t believe us? Take a look at these surprising health boosts you can gain by stepping away from the screen and out the front door.
While it’s true that being exposed to heavy sun for prolonged periods of time can make you feel tired and drowsy, soaking up natural daylight can be great for energy levels, particularly in the wintertime when days are shorter.
According to NHS.uk, lack of sunlight causes your brain to produce melatonin which, in turn, can make you feel sleepy. Taking a break outside can not only help you feel energised in the day, but it can also give you a better night’s sleep later on when you do call it quits.
Improve mental wellbeing
Exposure to sunlight can also have a notable impact on your mental wellbeing while being cooped up indoors can have notable adverse effects. This particularly evident in the winter months when daylight hours are notably reduced.
Many people in the UK experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) when the clocks go back, bringing summer to a cold, wintry halt. The shorter days and extended nights that accompany it can make for a depressing combination.
Mental health charity, Mind, has found that being outside can help benefit your mood greatly and experiencing nature can profoundly affect your overall outlook. This has even been known to include mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression.
Our increased daily reliance on computers, phones and tablets has meant a notable increase in myopia (or nearsightedness). Throw in a national love for TV and computer games in our spare time and it’s no wonder the UK’s eye-sight is taking a dip.
The New York Times has previously reported a strong correlation between eye health and a person’s overall exposure to sunlight. These facts were the result of a sizeable study done by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, King’s College London and several other respected institutions.
According to the study, those who had gotten the most sun during their younger years were about 25% less likely to develop myopia by middle age. Exposure to sunlight up to the age of 30 proved to have a protective benefit, notably benefitting eyesight in later life.
Your eyes aren’t the only things that can lose focus – lack of daylight can also cause your brain to lose focus as well. Exposure to natural environments can be just the boost you need if your mind is wandering and your attention is waning.
According to AskTheScientists.com, breaking up the working day with time outdoors has been shown to enhance concentration and increase productivity. Meanwhile, creative problem solving and cognitive function has also been known to improve through outside activities, particularly when indulging in prolonged outdoor pursuits.
A healthier you
Perhaps the most telling and important finding of all is that being outside has been shown to contribute greatly to overall bodily health – particularly due to its association with Vitamin D.
According to medical experts, humans are said to get as much as 90% of their Vitamin D intake from natural sunlight. Vitamin D can be a vital component in helping to maintain healthy bones and teeth, as well as contributing to cardiovascular health, including healthy blood pressure.
Vitamin D has also been known to regulate insulin levels and can help aid and prevent diabetes, while it has also been found to strengthen the immune system. With such a profound list of great health benefits, is there any wonder they call Vitamin D “The Sunshine Vitamin”?
Spend more time outside
So, we’ve heard all about the health benefits of being outside and worldly goodness that can be gained from being out and about – now what?
Getting outside doesn’t mean you have to take up gardening or begin park running every morning. The outdoors can be a great place to simply relax and unwind and what better way to do that than in the comfort and privacy of your very own property?
SunSpaces offer a wide range of garden rooms, verandas and awnings for a variety of properties, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of being outside without having to leave your home.
Give us a call today on 029 2037 1575 or click below for more information. Alternatively, visit a showroom near you and get an in-depth look at outdoor living!
Enquire now >