Recent research has proven definitively that spending time outdoors is good for your health in more ways than you can imagine. According to one study conducted by a group of Japanese researchers, spending time outdoors in a forest indicated a reduction in heart rate as well as in cortisol. But that is just one of many studies which have proven time and again just how healthy it is to get outdoors more often.
If you are like most workers today, the only thing you can think about is getting home to kick up your feet and relax. That reclining chair sounds better and better the closer you get to home. What you might want to consider, instead of that recliner, is spending time in your backyard. If you don’t have enough shade to get out of the sun, Bali huts are a stunning addition to a backyard and can offer all the shade you need. Now consider just how much good getting outdoors can do for your health.
Getting Out Reduces Depression
When you think of health, you probably are thinking physical health. However, emotional and spiritual health are equally important in life. Studies have proven that spending more time outdoors helps to lift depression, even in patients with a clinical diagnosis.
Spending Time Outdoors May Protect Your Vision
One study conducted on a fairly large group of children from two neighbouring schools in Taiwan showed that spending more time outdoors seemed to prevent myopia, near-sightedness. While we are always told to protect our eyes from those dangerous UV rays, time outdoors in the sun may help reduce the severity, or prevent altogether, myopia in children and adolescents. If you are looking for exact statistics, children in the play outside group with myopia at the end of a year was 8.41 percent of the test subjects while the play indoors children came in at a staggering 17.65 percent.
The only warning here would be to always have parents, teachers or guardians with the kids, so they don’t look directly at the sun. That is a very real danger, especially in small children.
As a Cancer Preventative
Here is an odd one, but research has shown that spending time outdoors can work as a cancer preventative. Contrary to what we have always been taught about the dangers of skin cancer from too much exposure to direct sunlight and being warned to stay indoors, this study found just the opposite. However, there are a few variables in this equation.
Subjects studied were mostly in shaded, forested areas and not exactly in direct sunlight. However, being outdoors for extended periods may stimulate the body’s production of anti-cancer proteins. What is even more exciting about this research is that the increased levels of these very specific proteins lasted up to a full week. It is evident that you can’t always spend a few hours a day in a forest, but you can find a shady spot outdoors to relax in during daylight hours and on weekends.
You may not have shade trees and it would take decades to grow them large enough to offer protection, but you can easily have a Bali Hut built in your backyard. That is something you really must consider.