Why you should spend more time outdoors

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Why you should spend more time outdoors

Chloe Glackmeyer, Healthy Living

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According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), ‘’The average American spends 93% of their life indoors. 87% of their life is indoors, then another 6% of their life in automobiles.’’ Why? We all know that being outside is good for us and reduces stress, yet we still choose to spend our free time inside watching ‘screens’. It’s been scientifically proven that being outside for only a short amount of time can drastically boost your mood. Even when we refer to “going out” we don’t really mean going outside. We mean getting in the car and driving somewhere to only go back inside. We don’t spend nearly enough time outside in nature as we should. It is estimated that 30% of Canadians spend less than an hour a week outside.

When asked why people don’t spend nearly as much time outdoors as they should in a survey, people responded that they simply didn’t have enough time. Teens, on the other hand, spend slightly little more time outdoors due to the fact that many of them don’t have cars, thus having to take the bus, biking/skateboarding and walking. The Chopra Center explains that “More than 50 percent of people now live in urban areas. By 2050, this proportion will be 70 percent. Urbanization is associated with increased levels of mental illness”. The solution to this problem is very simple and easy. Spend more time outdoors in nature.

Spending time in nature whether that be hiking in the mountains or swimming in a lake can significantly improve your health. Business insider states, ‘’Studies have shown that walking in the woods can improve blood pressure, boost mental health, and decrease cancer risks’’. There are so many reasons to spend more time outdoors yet many of us are spending most of our days sitting at desks under fluorescent lights in rooms with little to no windows, in front of computer screens to only return home and watch TV. This is clinically proven to be bad for our health. Going outside and being in nature is now becoming fundamental to human health.

 

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