In Partnership With: Velux
We are the indoor generation. Right now, we are spending more time indoors than ever before, and we need to make big changes if we want to stay healthy.
Most people don’t actually realise how much time they spend indoors but when you think about it, our entire lives revolve around sitting inside.
We wake in our homes, go to work places which are often inside, and then we go home again. Even some of the most popular social activities like going to the gym or to the pub also involve just being inside.
In fact, a new study has revealed that while most people across the globe think that they spend 66 per cent of our time indoors, the reality is the average joe spends 90 per cent of their time indoors.
Now you’re probably wondering what’s so dangerous about all of this. It’s very simple. Firstly, the air inside our homes is more often than not, significantly more polluted than the air outside. Secondly, many of us no longer rely on the natural and healthy 24-hour light cycle. Instead we rely almost entirely on electrical and artificial lights which have drastic effects on our sleeping patterns and overall health.
The average adult breathes in around 15,000 litres of oxygen every day. Yeah, that shocked me too. And considering we spend so much of our time indoors, it’s about time we start thinking about what we’re actually inhaling.
While everybody knows that in cities and towns the outside pollution is constantly rising, what we don’t seem to be aware of is that often inside our homes are up to five times as polluted as outdoors.
The air inside our homes begins just as polluted as the air outside but then it gets even more toxic from pollutants inside such as building materials, cleaning products, furniture, plastics, and toys. Then add human activities such as cooking, burning candles, drying clothes indoors, coughing and sneezing, and of course aerosols – deodorants, hairsprays, air fresheners etc.
Even breathing itself can be dangerous when fresh air can’t get in – and the average family of four emits around 1,800 litres of CO2 and 10 litres of water into the atmosphere every single day, just by breathing.
Poor indoor air quality often leads to short-term symptoms which I’m sure most of us have experienced numerous times in our lives such as: irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat; headaches; dizziness; and fatigue. Lack of sunlight also makes us feel a lot more tired as well as feeling sad, miserable, and far less productive.
However there are also some shocking long-term effects which are significantly more severe such as respiratory diseases, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and heart disease.
Shockingly today 2.2 million Europeans have asthma as a direct result of their living conditions and 40 per cent of people are much more likely to develop asthma due to their living conditions.
To combat the above, the antidote is relatively simple. Spend much more time outdoors when you can. Keep your blinds open and windows open to allow fresh air into your house, flat, or even workplace.
As well as this, make a conscious decision when spraying possibly toxic chemicals inside. Keep the windows open in the room where you decide to spray deodorants, air fresheners, or even cook. Try to avoid drying clothes inside – to stop moisture gathering in the air.
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