Brain Post: How Much Time Does the Average American Spend Outdoors?

SnowBrains | | BrainsBrains
The great indoors...
The great indoors…

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.  That’s only 7% of your entire life outdoors.  That’s only only one half of one day per week outdoors  Ouch.

We've all been here. Over insided.
We’ve all been here. Over insided.

Ouch, but it’s the truth, so lets make some sense of it.  

In a recent study the EPA found that:

“concentrations of some pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher than typical outdoor concentrations.” – EPA Indoor Air study

Get out here and live a bit better.
Get out here and live a bit better.  photo:  Hank de Vre

People often think that the reason we get colds and flus more often in the winter is because it’s cold out.  False.  We get colds and flus more often in the winter because we are inside more often and exposed to more higher concentrations of airborne pollutants including cold and flu viruses.

Being outside is also highly linked to better moods and better outlooks on life.  Americans are so bad at begin outside that it’s recommended that we try to spend just 5 minutes outside each day.  Just 5 minutes will do you a world of good.

Squaw skiers getting their 5 minutes in.
Squaw skiers getting their 5 minutes in.  photo:  Hank de Vre

A new study in the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology states:

In a meta-analysis of 10 studies, they found that getting outside—and moving—for as little as five minutes at a time improved both mood and self-esteem.” – Robin Mejia, author of the study in the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology

yep
yep

So, now it’s time to look at yourself.  How much time did you spend outside today?  If it wasn’t enough, make sure to take the time to consciously spend 5 minutes outside today.


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