News // October 31, 2023
Written by Spyropoulos Alicia
10 Benefits of Spending Time Outdoors
Few facts or statistics are needed to understand the positive effects of spending time in the sunshine. You simply need to step outside to notice the impact on your mood, and it is common knowledge that whether it is a picnic in the backyard or a hike along a mountain trail, time outdoors and in nature can do wonders for your mental health.
Find out more about the importance of time outdoors, the positive impact this can have on you, and how alfresco blinds can improve the amount of time you spend in your own backyard.
Importance Of Time Outside
It is recommended that adults spend 20 minutes a day, or around 120 minutes a week, outdoors in order to enjoy the benefits that come with this time outside. For children, this recommendation increases to 3 hours per day for healthy development.
For your physical and mental wellbeing, time outside can have very positive effects. So much so that ecotherapy, also known as nature therapy, is emerging to encourage connection with the natural world in order to aid mental health and even pain management.
10 Ways That Time Outside Can Benefit You
Spending a healthy amount of time outside may lead to:
1. Easier Breathing
Contrary to what you may believe, especially with allergens present in spring, the concentration of some pollutants and allergens in the air are 2 to 5 times higher indoors than what is typically found in outdoor environments.
Many pollutants that impact indoor air quality originate inside, such as those from combustion sources, cleaning supplies, paints, insecticides, building materials, mould and pet dander. With this in mind, outdoor air quality can lead to healthier breathing and better lung functioning.
2. Better Sleep
Your body’s circadian rhythm is what makes you feel awake during the day and sleepy at night. Exposing yourself to direct sunlight is the best way to align your internal clock with sunrise and sunset, therefore improving your quality of sleep by ensuring you are ready for bed at night.
3. Improved Mental Wellness
Time outside has been shown to reduce risk of depression and lead to faster recovery from psychological stress. Nature has a restorative power that means regular exposure to green space is effective when it comes to improving mental health.
4. Reduced Stress
Being outside has been proven to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol, also leading to decreased heart rate and blood pressure, and easing anxiety. This is mainly pertaining to outdoor environments with green space.
Spending time outdoors can act as an escape from the overstimulation of the modern world, composed of constant notifications, emails, artificial lights, sounds and more. The visual, aural and sensory stimuli of the natural environment are designed to soothe the senses, allowing you to be more at peace, relaxed and focused.
5. Increased Immunity
More absorption of vitamin D is good for your immune system and bone health. You are also exposed to organic compounds such as phytoncides released by plants that work to boost immune function.
6. Better Eyesight
Specifically when discussing the onset of myopia in children, time spent outdoors plays a role in the prevention and control of short-sightedness. Time outside promotes focusing on objects further away, while natural light is also beneficial for healthy eye development.
7. Improved Self-Esteem
As little as 5 minutes outdoors has been shown to have a positive impact on self-esteem. Relaxed outdoor activities such as walks or gardening are best linked to this result, rather than high-intensity exercise.
8. Social Connection
While walking around your neighbourhood, petting the local dogs and greeting their owners can make you feel more connected with your community, many outdoor activities are also undertaken with friends or family. Whether this is spending time in your backyard with family and friends or going for a hike, there is a link between time outside and social interaction.
9. Increased Physical Activity
Being outdoors has been linked with increased motivation to exercise, as the outdoor environment is enticing for physical activity and therefore leads to higher levels of fitness.
10. Increased Physical Health
There is a connection between time outdoors and better overall physical health. In an Australian study, a link was found between lower rates of depression as well as lower blood pressure and weekly visits of 30 minutes or more to outdoor green spaces. It also reduces risk of chronic disease such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Spend More Time Outdoors With Security Plus Alfresco Blinds
When it comes to increasing the time you spend outside, outdoor blinds are an ideal way to encourage time spent in your own backyard. While the weather may not be inviting all year round, quality outdoor blinds offer the shelter you need to spend comfortable time outdoors in rain, hail or shine.
Security Plus Shutters, Doors & Blinds offers a wide range of high quality outdoor blinds to enhance your outdoor areas. Elevate your outdoor living and improve your mental and physical health by adding durable outdoor blinds to your alfresco area today. Contact us for a free measure and quote.