We have all experienced that good feeling of being in the sun. Well, it is not purely psychological, as the sun has a physical effect on our body. For such a long time we have been advised to stay out of the sun or apply a high factor sunscreen.
We are encouraged to make children wear clothes that block the sunshine. This is all very good advice, but our body needs a certain amount of exposure. Sunlight triggers sensors in the eye that activates the production of serotonin. The release of this hormone influences our brain making us feel good. It is also important that our skin has exposure to the sunlight. The World Health Organization recommends between five- and fifteen-minutes exposure two or three times a week is enough to enjoy its benefits. This level of exposure will produce vital vitamin D, which helps to keep our bones healthy and helps with the absorption of other vital vitamins.
We do spend a significant time of the day indoors with artificial lighting that has a generally negative effect on our psychology and physiology. If our body is not producing enough serotonin, it will create melatonin, resulting in drowsiness. Melatonin has also been linked to depression. Clearly, the solution is to bring in as much natural light into our homes and workplaces as possible. A large window is an obvious solution, and in the home, environment is relatively easily achievable. There are however many work environments that it is hard to introduce enough natural light with windows alone. With large work environments, some work areas may be some distance from any available windows. There are some work environments, below ground, for example, where windows are not an option. There are companies that have been able to overcome the problem of supplying natural light into these areas by using innovative solutions.