Is Staying Inside for Too Long Bad for Your Health
Anyone who lives in the North Eastern or Mid Western part of the United States, or in any region with seasons, can elucidate on the many reasons that staying indoors
for too long is detrimental to one’s health. In climates that force one to remain indoors for extended periods of time, either too cold in the winter or too hot in the summer, individuals often become lethargic, withdrawn, depressed, anxious, develop sleep problems, withdraw socially, eat excessively, watch too much TV or play on the phone hour after hour. These symptoms or issues are only a handful of reasons why staying indoors for too long
is bad for you and possibly your mental health.
How Staying Indoors for Too long Affects Mental Health
These imbalances can be caused from the lack of interaction with the sunshine which affects the circadian rhythms of your body, thus interfering with your sleep, neuropeptide and Vitamin D production, as well as appetite regulation. It is important for human beings to interact socially with other human beings. We were not made to be indoors for extended period of times without sunshine.
During the Covid lockdowns in 2020 and 2021, suicide rates skyrocketed, as did the rates of those displaying signs of depression and anxiety. According to a Lancet study, this increase was the combined effects of the fear of spread of virus, the lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, decreased public transportation, school and business closures and decreased social interactions.
Is Staying Inside for Too Long Bad for Your Health?
It is true that many businesses and people got more tech savvy and learned how to teach, instruct, play games and interact socially through zoom, face time and other networks, however the mere staying indoors put tremendous physiological and psychological stress on individuals. We all need sunshine and fresh air to calibrate our brain and pineal gland to regulate melatonin to ensure good sleep; and sleep is perhaps the most important ingredient necessary for balanced health. Without good sleep and rest, our immune system suffers, as does our mood, energy, enthusiasm and productivity. Thus, staying indoors for too long
without sunshine can be detrimental to one’s health.
Why You Should Not Stay Indoors for Prolonged Periods of Time
Fresh air is crucial for dynamic wellness, as most air conditioning units re-circulate old air which may contain microbes, virus’s, and chemicals. Air-conditioned air is usually too cold to be able to endure it all day when in conference rooms (especially for thin women), and bulking up with layers is both inconvenient and restricts mobility.
It is true that we can do our exercise routines while watching zoom or watching TV, but tell me it didn’t get boring after a few sessions. We need the support, encouragement and social engagement that others provide, even if only a partial glance, at least we feel more part of a whole when we are seeing others walk, run, ride bikes or row their outriggers. Staying indoors for too long can also begin to impact your social skills and social circles.
And I don’t know about you, however for me, sitting in front of a screen for an extended period of time can cause eye strain, anxiety, boredom, as well as an incessant need to snack. I heard so many of my friends joke about their “covid fat”; but was it really caused by Covid? Unlikely. It is more likely due to excessive eating out of boredom and the phenomena listed above.
Is It Okay to Stay Indoors for Long Periods of Time
The bottom line is this… SPEND TIME OUTDOORS IN NATURE EVERYDAY. Bungle up if it’s cold, jump in the nearest body of water if it’s hot, or just let yourself sweat. Sweating is your autonomic nervous systems way of cooling you down.
And while you’re out there, take in some long, slow deep breaths and enjoy the beauty that exists, even in the smallest flower or tree. Take in the energy that nature provides and watch your health return to balance.