You’ve heard of whistling while you work, but what about opening the windows while you work? We wrote a blog post about the benefits of sunlight and fresh air last year that got a lot of attention. Science has found that fresh air and sunlight reduce illness, increase attention span, and give a laundry list of noticeable health benefits.
Here are 4 science-backed reasons to open the windows while you work – especially on a cold February day – and let the sunshine in!
4 Reasons to Open the Windows While You Work
Decrease the odds of illness
Open the windows while you work because natural ventilation – letting fresh air circulate in a closed spaced – decreases your odds of illness. Fresh air is proven to reduce risk of infection. A university study found that dorm rooms that routinely had the windows open had fewer instances of respiratory infections than those who never opened the windows. The World Health Organization (WHO) also concludes that letting fresh air in is an effective means of reducing the odds of illness and infection.
Get more vitamin D, less cholesterol
Open the windows while you work to get more vitamin D and lower your cholesterol levels at the same time. To explain how this works, let’s have a quick health lesson.
Cholesterol is what vitamin D is made of – it’s the precursor for vitamin D. Without cholesterol, vitamin D cannot be made in your body. Both vitamin D and cholesterol are formed in your skin, and sunlight is the activator that turns cholesterol into vitamin D.
You can see the figure on the right explaining that process in a bit more detail. Sunlight turns potentially dangerous cholesterol (7-dehydrocholesterol) into essential vitamin D (cholecalciferol).
The more sunlight exposure you get, the more of that cholesterol that can be turned into vitamin D in your skin. Sit by an open, sunny window with some skin exposed to get this benefit!
Improves your mood and productivity
Open the windows while you work to improve your mood and increase your productivity. A recent study on Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) discovered that more sunlight exposure could increase the levels of a neurotransmitter in the brain – serotonin – that boosts mood and makes you feel more energized and productive.
This study found that sunny days caused participant’s brains to release more serotonin and cloudy days caused a major halt in serotonin production. Reduced serotonin levels that are consistent can be part of what causes SAD, according to the researchers. You can sidestep that problem by leaving the windows open while you work or at least sitting in a sunny part of the room.
A cleaner work space
As mentioned above, the circulation of fresh air and exposure to sunlight create a much cleaner work space. Not only does fresh air have the ability to kill or reduce the numbers of harmful bacteria and viruses, but sunlight does as well. Ever heard the phrase, “Sunlight is the best disinfectant?” This may be where it comes from.
Shine a little natural light into your workspace and breathe in the fresh air from an open window to create a cleaner work space that will make you feel healthier and more productive!