Health Benefits of Having a Patio
Health Benefits of Having a Patio
Americans spend 90 percent of their time indoors, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Each day, American homeowners experience between 9 and 16 hours of daylight depending on the time of year and their location. After subtracting the 8.5-hour typical workday, you'll have 30 minutes to 7.5 hours of daylight to enjoy. Having your own outdoor living space is quite convenient when you only have a limited amount of time to enjoy the sunshine.
Even a little outdoor living space can improve your overall health in addition to adding value to your property. It should come as no surprise that unplugging, sitting outside, and taking in the sights and sounds of nature is beneficial to your health. You might be amazed at how many aspects of your health can benefit from dining al fresco, relaxing on your patio, or hosting a game night outside.
Boost Your Immune System
Phytoncides — airborne compounds produced by plants to keep themselves from becoming insect food – are abundant in fresh, outdoor air. Breathing in these phytoncides induces your body to produce more NK white blood cells, which kill virally contaminated and tumor-infected cells in your body, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation.
Phytoncides are produced in abundance by common oak, cedar, and pine trees. Include them in your landscaping if your allergies allow it.
Increase Vitamin D Levels
It might be difficult to find time to enjoy the sun between work, commutes, and (ideally) the requisite 7-9 hours of sleep. Unfortunately, this implies that many working-class Americans are missing out on a free vitamin D supply. Fortunately, just 15 minutes of sunlight every day can boost your vitamin D levels and make you feel better during those long hours spent indoors.
Tip: Wear sunscreen if you're going to be out in the sun for an extended period of time.
In addition to the anti-inflammatory properties of vitamin D, getting outside is an excellent opportunity to practice "earthing" or "grounding." The theory behind earthing claims that connecting with the earth provides negative electrons to the body, which help to neutralize the harmful free radicals connected to chronic inflammation.
Tip: Start your day by kicking off your shoes and watering your lawn by hand. Walking in damp grass is a completely free way to earth yourself.
Improve Work Performance
Spending time outside has been shown to alleviate mental tiredness, promote creativity, and even improve mental and physical well-being in studies. Even the most dedicated employees can become burned out, but spending more time in nature can help to alleviate some of the underlying causes that are under their control.
Tip: If you work in an office, try to have breakfast or dinner outside at least 3 times a week.
Whether it’s a perfect spring morning, a miserably hot summer afternoon, or a freezing winter evening, spending time outside can improve your memory and focus. A University of Michigan study found that participant’s memory improved by as much as 20% after walking in nature. If you have a big test, speech or meeting coming up, get outside beforehand to boost your memory and attention.
Tip: Before studying or preparing for a meeting, spend some quiet time on your patio to clear your mind.
A study found that Americans, on average, get 43 minutes of “me-time” a day, and some of that is spent in the bathroom. Being in nature can reduce your heart rate, muscle tension, and blood pressure, but demanding schedules don’t leave a lot of time to unwind. Having a safe and clean space in your own backyard makes it easy to reduce stress on your own schedule.
Tip: Keep your patio area clean and inviting with comfortable furniture and simple landscaping.
Americans spend a lot of time staring at displays, whether it's on television, laptops, tablets, or cellphones. Those devices frequently generate blue light, the same blue light that suppresses melatonin production and disrupts your circadian cycle. Turning off the lights and listening to the crackle of a fire outside (without your phone!) can help to decrease blood pressure and prepare your body for sleep.
Tip: At night, turn off the lights and relax next to a fire pit, chimenea, or outdoor fireplace.
If you need another reason to get outside, a University of Anglia study revealed that spending more time outside lowers your risk of Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and early death. Furthermore, elderly folks who spend time outside recuperate more quickly and receive more exercise.
Tip: Have a patio and spend at least an hour a day cooking, exercising, or socializing outside.