The Importance of Spending Time Out of Doors

Spending time outside is actually good for you—at least according to science. Here are a few reasons why you should consider taking your next study break out of doors rather than with a run to the coffee cart.

  1. It makes you more energetic. Spending time outside (even if it’s not sunny out) helps us to set our internal clocks correctly. The amount of light that we get from fluorescent or other artificial light sources is actually a LOT dimmer than what we can get outside, even in the middle of winter. Getting natural light is important because it helps your body self regulate when you should be tired and ready to go to bed versus when you should be awake.
  2. It can make you happier.* The increased light can also relieve feelings of depression, anxiety, and generally make you feel happier. In addition, if you pair time out of doors with physical movement (a walk or run), it can raise seratonin levels in your brain, leading to increased happiness.
  3. It can improve your vision. Spending time out of doors has proven to reduce the probabiliity of near sightedness in children and teens. However, time away from phones and computer screens is generally recomended, so spending some time observing out of door spaces will help reduce eye strain and can potentially strengthnen your eye muscles.
  4. It can improve your concentration.* Studies have shown that time outside has improved concentration for children with ADHD. While studies have not been done on adults, taking an outdoor break, may help you focus when you return.
  5. You’ll get a dose of Vitamin D. Limited sun exposure will lead to increased levels of Vitamin D, a necessary nutrient. Vitamin D has been shown to improve mood and overall health. While we can get some Vitamin D from food (got milk?), increased time outside will also help to combat any Vitamin D deficiencies.

Disclaimer: you should not make changes to needed mental health therapy, or any kind of medication without talking to your Doctor.

Sources:

https://www.businessinsider.com/why-spending-more-time-outside-is-healthy-2017-7#with-all-this-its-not-surprising-that-outdoor-time-is-associated-with-a-lower-overall-risk-of-early-death-12

https://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/spending-time-outdoors-is-good-for-you

https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/benefits-vitamin-d#food-sources

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