Research Shows Those Who Spend Longer Outside are Healthier

Did you know that spending most of your time indoors could be having a seriously negative impact on your health?

girl outside

Sometimes it isn’t easy to get outside if you have an indoor job. But unless you find the time to get outdoors you could really be putting your health at risk.

Research has shown that those who spend longer outdoors are actually healthier than those who don’t.

Natural sunlight is actually the main source of vitamin D. If you don’t get outside very much, you could find yourself with a serious deficiency, potentially causing a range of health problems.

But it’s equally important to protect yourself against other health issues, such as skin cancer. Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world, so it’s essential you cover up and apply suitable sunscreen.

Below you’ll find the top ways that the outdoors can benefit your health.

1. Helping to reduce mental illness

Millions of people suffer mental illnesses such as depression. It’s been proven by Norwegian researchers that getting out and interacting with nature is a great way to combat the symptoms of depression.

Gardening is a great example of spending time outside and being at one with nature. The research showed that symptoms of mental illness could be reduced dramatically after just 12 weeks.

It’s the lack of sunlight that can make depression worse. That’s why so many people suffer deeper depression during the winter months. The great thing about Australia is it has so much sunshine compared to the rest of the world.

But if you stay cooped up indoors you won’t feel the benefits of the year-round natural sunlight – outdoor living is great for the body and mind.

2. Keeping you fit and healthy

Being outdoors also helps to keep you physically fit. Walking and exploring the outdoors keeps you moving and will help with weight loss.

Just a 30-minute walk each day can really help to keep you fit and healthy. It will also release hormones, helping to keep you positive.

3. Reduces stress

Life can be really stressful these days, particularly when it comes to work. Getting outdoors can help eliminate the stress that builds up throughout the day.

If you don’t deal with it, stress can contribute to potentially serious health problems. Making sure you spend at least an hour outdoors every day will help to prevent this.

4. Boosting involuntary attention

One important benefit that the great outdoors offers, that many of us don’t even know about, is the fact that it boosts your involuntary attention span.

Humans have two types of attention; voluntary and involuntary. Voluntary gets a pretty good workout throughout the day while you’re working. But unless you balance it out with involuntary attention you can end up feeling mentally drained.

Involuntary attention relates to things you don’t plan to pay attention to. While out for a walk you could come across a couple of rabbits. Your attention is caught unexpectedly and you stay and watch them until they disappear out of sight. This helps to keep you more mentally alert.

Want to know more?

At Australian Outdoor Living, we love to encourage the outdoors lifestyle. Get outdoors with our inspiring ideas, including:

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About Alex Kuchel

This is Alex. Alex is the National Brand Manager at Australian Outdoor Living (AOL). By day, she’s a member of AOL’s marketing team. She helps to conjure up ideas on how best to promote Australian Outdoor Living and enjoys working with a pretty awesome team of clever cookies. By night (and weekends), she enjoys the company of her family and friends. She’s a big believer in sun shine and does her best to enjoy it with those she loves most.”