According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average American spends 93% of their life indoors. 87% of their life is inside buildings, then another 6% of their life in automobiles. That’s only 7% of your entire life outdoors. That’s only one half of one day per week outdoors. Ouch.
Ouch, but it’s the truth, so let’s make some sense of it.
In a study, the EPA found that:
“…concentrations of some pollutants are often two to five times higher than typical outdoor concentrations.”
People often think that we get colds and flu more often in the winter because it’s cold out. False. We get colds and flu more often in the winter because we are inside more often and exposed to higher concentrations of airborne pollutants, including cold and flu viruses.
Being outside is also highly linked to better moods and better outlooks on life. Unfortunately, Americans are so bad at being outside that it’s recommended that we try to spend just five minutes outside each day. Just five minutes will do you a world of good.
A study in the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology states:
“In a meta-analysis of ten studies, they found that getting outside—and moving—for as little as five minutes at a time improved both mood and self-esteem.”
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 at least five minutes outside today.