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The Hidden Dangers of Excessive Indoor Time: How It Affects Your Well-Being

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The Hidden Dangers of Excessive Indoor Time: How It Affects Your Well-Being

The bad habit that affects our well-being: excessive time indoors

We know that we spend too much time indoors but quantifying this bad habit may make us more aware of the need to change it: “We spend 90% of the day indoors and 15 years ago we only spent 10%”he states bluntly Nicola Elliott, wellness expert and creator of the NEOM brand. An exponential growth closely related to a sedentary lifestyle and an overdependence on screens and new technologies that is reducing our quality of life. In fact, Francisco Gomez Moreno expert in physiotherapy, osteopathy and nutrition Clínica Palasiet, proposes us to reflect on it: “If we start to think about how much time we are currently connected to nature on a daily basis, we will see that it is very little or none. People usually live in apartments, they go to work in seated and closed means of transport and possibly their work is in another closed place. And he has to return home in the same transport and after this their physical activity is in a gym that is also closed when there is one”.

Without a doubt, a real description that is far from the two hours that we should spend a day outdoors in an ideal world. But these data do not have to make us fall into drama, but rather into reflecting on this excess, on the consequences it can have and on the different ways to avoid it.

Natural light is necessary to sleep better at night

“The day makes the night and at the moment of sleep you have to arrive rested. During the day there must be physical activity, natural light, social contact, gratitude, kindness, a limitation on excess screens and adequate routines in the hours before to have a quality rest,” says the doctor Javier Albares, sleep expert. And precisely for that reason, the insomnia disorder It is so related to the lifestyle we lead and the lack of natural light. “We spend more and more time indoors and live without natural light and all this, together with excess screens, overinformation and multitasking, favors lack of synchronization of our biological clocks”, Explain. And all of this affects our mood and the functioning of our internal organs.

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Indoor living affects the aging process

One of the common denominators of people longest-lived of the so-called blue zones of the planet where there is a greater life expectancy is spending time outdoors. And the light regulates circadian rhythms, directly related to the aging processes. “Circadian cycles are variations in regular time intervals – usually one day – of certain physiological functions of the body. The state of wakefulness/sleep along with temperature, appetite, digestion, heart rate, blood pressure and most of the hormonal, inflammatory and reparative systems present these types of oscillations, whose correct functioning is vital to maintain the quality of life and the harmony of the aging process”explains the doctor Vicente Mera in his book Young at any age, insisting that sunlight is one of the most obvious controllers of these cycles.

And just one more fact: as the doctor explains Olivier Courtin-Clarins in his book Guess my age if you can sleep deprivation, which also causes a lack of natural light, affects the oxidative stress and metabolism.

And the way we eat

Spending so much time indoors leads to several chain events because insomnia, for example, also affects the hormones related to feelings of hunger and satiety, so that this lack of sunlight worsens table habits. “There is a close relationship between sleep disorders and eating. For example, due to problems with the release of the satiety hormone, called leptin, which is released in the deep sleep phase,” explains Mera.

Lack of natural light affects mood

It is enough to reflect on how we feel after spending a day outdoors to understand how too much indoors affects our mood and mood. “Natural light is fundamental to regulate our different biological rhythms and the state mood since it also influences the serotonin levels”, explains Albares. To which the psychologist Pilar Conde Add: “Being outdoors facilitates emotional regulation, reduces stress and anxiety levels, as well as improves our mood and our sleeping and eating habits.”

How to reduce the time we spend indoors

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It is not easy, but there are some alternatives to achieve it:

Walk more: taking into account that a sedentary lifestyle has established itself in our lives – our ancestors walked between 10 and 16 kilometers a day and we only 2.4, according to the average – trying to walk more daily is essential in all aspects, also for spend more time outdoors. In fact, Elliott advises expose yourself to natural light for at least 30 minutes before 10 a.m.hence go to work walking It can be a good alternative.Practice grounding or, what is the same, being barefoot in contact with the earth. The Palasiet expert also advises doing this practice watching the sunrise on the beach or simply trying to watch the sunset by looking directly at the sun. “It is something that connects us with our day and, in addition, tells the brain that the day is ending, this keeps biorhythms regular over time.”Participate in environmental initiatives: Maybe something as simple as participating in plastic collection programs in the forest can help us be in contact with nature and increase exposure to natural light. Furthermore, studies confirm the correlation between the feeling of happiness and the environmental initiatives of countries.

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