Can Outdoor Living Spaces Boost Health?

How Much Time Do You Spend Indoors?

More and more Americans are spending the bulk of their lives indoors. Whether it’s inside a house, a school, a corporate office, a store, a church, it’s all the same. It’s all times spent behind walls and under roofs. According to the EPA, 87% of your life is spent indoors, 6% is spent in vehicles (which is basically still indoors) and only 7% is spent outdoors. What a dramatic change this is from centuries ago!

Why are we spending so much time indoors? It doesn’t take a team of researchers to figure this one out. There are basically two things that draw us, and keep us, inside: air-conditioning and television.

Air-conditioning has revolutionized how people live, and it’s revolutionized where people live. More people are moving to the Southwestern United States simply because air-conditioning has made the hot summer months more tolerable. Texas and Arizona have seen an increase in population in recent years.

Television has revolutionized the way people socialize. Before radio and television, if you wanted to be entertained, you needed to go to a theater where people put on live shows, or maybe a bar or a restaurant that featured comedians, clowns, dancers, or musicians. You had to leave your house. You had to spend at least a little bit of time outside, going from place to place.

In stark contrast, nowadays, if you want to be entertained, all you need to do is pick up a remote control and click a few buttons. TV really is wonderful. It provides free entertainment as well as access to valuable news. But TV comes with some drawbacks. It can be addictive. It can waste your time. And it can keep you indoors for much, much longer than is healthy.

The Not-So-Great Indoors

CNN reports that in 2016 and 2017, the average age of death in the United States of America has lowered. Can this startling news be related to the amount of time we’re spending inside? Some experts say yes.

How to Spend More Time Outside

There are companies found on the web, for example, that can help you spend more time outside. How? By making your outdoor living spaces more inviting! Many different construction companies can build patios, walkways, pergolas, and other structures around your property so that you’ll want to spend more time outside.

You don’t need to abandon civilization. You don’t need to live like a hermit in the woods. All you need to do is make a conscious decision to spend more time outside. Consider the things that you would ordinarily do inside your house. Now see if you can do those same things outdoors. Here are a few ideas:

  • set up an outdoor dining area
  • put a TV outside (under a covered patio)
  • get a pool
  • get a horseshoe pit
  • set up benches outside
  • increase the size of your patio, porch or deck
  • move to a property with more land

There are plenty of ways that you can organize your house and land to encourage more time spent outdoors. Whatever way you choose will be a step in the right direction. It will be a step in the direction of better health.