Let’s be honest: a lot of us sit inside…all day. Whether it’s for work or to binge on
the newest TV series, we simply aren’t outside very often. But, what would happen if you
stopped going outside all together? 149,600,000 km away sunlight is being ejected
from the sun, shooting across the solar system, through our atmosphere, and if the timing
is right, landing directly on your skin. Feels good, doesn’t it? And it’s this sunlight that
begins an amazing chain reaction, which helps to sustain your life: The ‘Sunshine Vitamin’
— Vitamin D that is. Interestingly, some of the cholesterol you
consume is altered and stored in your skin. And when that well-travelled Ultra Violet
B sunlight hits your skin, it modifies this cholesterol. The new molecule travels through
the bloodstream to the liver, where it is altered again, and then to the kidney, where
it is biologically ‘activated’. This activated Vitamin D works to absorb calcium
from your food, ultimately leading to bone growth and strength. In a way, your skin eats
the sun and the sun grows your bones! Perhaps we aren’t so different from plants.
Without Vitamin D, your body would not only suffer decreased mineralization of your bones,
leading to diseases like osteoporosis, but also see a decrease in immune function. Furthermore,
there is evidence to suggest that Vitamin D helps prevent cancer, heart disease and
depression. Which may explain why those in colder climates with less daylight often experience
the “Winter Blues”. But it’s not just sunlight and Vitamin D that
makes the difference. Many studies have shown that being in nature can have a mental and
physical effect on the body. While using sophisticated brain-imaging techniques, brains in nature
showed more activity in the regions associated with stability, empathy and love. On the other
hand, viewing man-made environments produced activity in the regions associated with fear
and stress. On top of it all, if you are often inside,
chances are you’re sitting down. Admit it, you’ve been lounging, watching YouTube for
hours. Which may seem harmless, but studies have shown major health effects linked to
sitting time, such as an increase in type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease . Furthermore,
a study of more than 200,000 people found a strong correlation between mortality and
increased sitting time — in other words, the longer you sit, the more likely you are
to die prematurely. The scariest part is that this is regardless of your physical activity.
So stand up, get outside, and live a little…longer than you would have.
After subscribing to our channel and watching all the videos, that is.
This episode of AsapSCIENCE is supported by squarespace.com. Squarespace is the all in
on platform that makes it fast and easy to create your own professional website or online
portfolio. You can create a website in just a few minutes using one of their beautiful
template designs. Squarespace also has drag and drop tools so you can customize everything
about your site, like colours and layout with just a few clicks. And if you need extra help,
squarespace has an amazing support team available 24/7. For a free trial and 10% off go to squarespace.com
and use the offer code asap8. Thanks again to squarespace.com for supporting AsapSCIENCE,
and subscribe for more weekly science videos.