Sunshine

The Rise of the Sun: How Exposure to Natural Light Improves Productivity

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The sun has had a bad rap over the past few decades. Granted, there are some serious risks that come with too much exposure. But a daily dose of sunshine and a general increase in natural light can do us a world of good. As we approach the end of winter it’s time we took a closer look at our bright friend in the sky (not literally). Let’s remind ourselves about some of the key benefits of sunlight, and how it can help us to increase productivity each day.

1. Zzzzzzz

It has been concluded by some very clever scientists (Neuroscientists, to be specific, from Northwestern University in the US) that exposure to natural light throughout the day is closely linked with our quality of sleep at night. It’s been found that people who spend their working hours in offices with windows sleep for an extra 46 minutes each night on average, compared to those based in offices without windows. Who knew? As humans, our circadian rhythm plays a crucial part in the quality of our sleep, and this is directly impacted, for better or worse, by natural light exposure. 

So, do yourself a favour and make sure the office you’re working from has a good level of sunlight. You’ll sleep better for it, which will leave you feeling fresh and able to swiftly get those tasks scribbled off your to do list each morning.

Sleeping at sunset

2. The Mind

Disruption to the circadian rhythm is also connected with many common mental health issues. These include bipolar disease, depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Therefore, spending many hours throughout the day without natural light exposure can take its toll on our mental health, which in turn can affect our productivity.

Sun exposure also triggers our bodies to produce serotonin, which plays a key role in creating the feeling of happiness and calmness, while also boosting our general mood and improving our focus. 

Be kind to your mind and make sure you get your sunlight fix every day, one way or another.

3. Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency has become another serious concern in the modern age of office-based working. This condition is often a result of not getting enough exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D is very important for our bodies and plays an integral part in some of its vital functions. These include immune system regulation, body weight maintenance and the stimulation of healthy brain function.

Studies have shown that Vitamin D deficiency can lead to increased chances of becoming sick. In fact, workers in offices without windows are likely to take more sick leave each year than those based in offices that do have sufficient amounts of natural light. 

This in mind, make the most of your waking hours and increase daily productivity by ensuring you get enough sunlight. Read more here about recommended daily sunlight amounts, and how to go about getting your dose of Vitamin D safely. 

Man standing in sunshine

Before you go

If you live and work in Barcelona – or anywhere sunny for that matter – it doesn’t mean you automatically get enough sunlight. When you’re working regular office hours and are based indoors, integrating natural light exposure into your daily routine is just as important here as it is anywhere else. If an office with open plan layouts, big windows and access to sunny outdoor terraces is what you’re looking for, then look no further. 

For pictures and more information about Betahaus Barcelona, take a look here.

Betahaus office space

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