Time in the Sun for Employee Health
As any reader of the Hanson Medical Systems blog knows, we believe that good employee health is a great investment to make, because the outcome is better productivity (not to mention better lives for the people who work for you). This week we want to talk about one of the great intangibles of personal health: sunshine. Chances are you don’t get enough of it, and your employees don’t either.
While too much sun can certainly be a bad thing, most Americans don’t have this problem. Most elderly people have insufficient Vitamin D, and the deficiency is common in younger people as well. This is because the body doesn’t make Vitamin D all by itself. It gets it from foods like eggs and nuts, and it concocts the chemical by a different pathway when catalyzed by natural sunlight.
This is likely because humans used to spend literally all of their time outdoors. For hundreds of thousands of years, our distant forebears didn’t build shelters. As a result, they were exposed to a lot more sunlight than modern humans are. It’s likely that the body’s natural collaboration with sunlight in the production of Vitamin D evolved as a direct result of this process.
Unfortunately, society changed quickly and today, just a few hundred thousand years removed from our ancestors’ life on the plains of Africa, modern humans spent most of their lives in buildings illuminated with electric light. Sunlight is often associated with exertion and manual labor, as well as serious conditions like skin cancer.
But a reasonable amount of sun exposure is a good thing to experience. Because your employees likely work in an office, it’s important to facilitate time for them to get sun exposure. The spring and summer are the perfect times for this. Here are some more reasons why.
- Sense of Well-Being. Getting out in the sunlight and fresh air promotes a sense of well-being. It’s a great break from the strain of the workday, and the Vitamin D boost contributes to a natural increase in energy. Working in an office all the time can be depressing (even when it’s outfitted with an onsite clinic). Allowing for a break outdoors creates something to look forward to. And it’s free.
- It’s Good for the Skin. In reasonable doses, sunlight is great for skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Give your employees a break in the sunlight. It’s cheaper than a POC test or a trip to the dermatologist.
- Time in the Sun = Exercise. It’s important to exercise a little bit each day, even if it’s just a walk. Many people who work in office settings don’t make it to the gym before work and are too pooped to exercise by the end of the workday. Encourage activity by making time during the day to go outside.
Sunshine should be an important part of every day, especially during the temperate days of spring. Hanson Medical Systems likes to include natural remedies in our health care consulting services, and it doesn’t get any more natural than a daily dose of sunshine.