I heard a term recently that fascinates me – the “Indoor Generation”. As the name implies, it’s a label for people who spend most of their time indoors. They’ve figured out how to do as many things as possible without leaving the house.
I totally get it. We can do our shopping on our home computers or mobile devices. We can order food, and have it delivered to our home. We can talk with a doctor via webcam. Keith and I are building a house and we talk about it being both the place we work and our sanctuary. I can absolutely see how the term came into existence.
The indoor generation is also a term that defies age. I see young people who spend a lot of time inside – maybe reading or watching television and playing video games. But for today’s post, I want to talk about the indoor generation in the context of getting older.
In a study sponsored by Velux, it’s been found that there are health risks to being indoors all the time. We need sunlight as part of our wellness. The research found that daylight can improve learning abilities up to 15 percent. We need fresh air for our health. Living in damp or moldy homes increases our risk of asthma by 40 percent. And a lack of sunlight impacts our general wellbeing. According to the research, a lack of daylight makes 15 percent of us sad.
So, what’s the answer. Well, it’s easy just to say get out more. But the reality is, going outside needs to feel good. Otherwise it will be a chore and we won’t get the desired benefit. Here are five things that might help us get outside more:
- Talk and walk. I’m going to mention this one first since it’s the most obvious. Find time to take a walk. Keith and I have what we call walking meetings. Instead of sitting inside the house to talk about stuff, we take a short walk. It’s good for us and we can still have a productive conversation.
- Take up an outdoor activity. People laugh when we mention that we play Pokémon GO. But it gets us out of the house every single day. We also discovered a nearby botanical garden that has lots of Pokémon Gyms and PokeStops. So, we purchased an annual membership. We get to see the gardens and play at the same time.
- Build outdoor time into our daily routine. One of the things we’re looking forward to in our new home is drinking our morning beverages outside. It doesn’t seem like a lot, and it’s not, but it’s a few more minutes outside.
- Turn outdoor chores into something worth looking forward to. This is totally not me, but Keith loves working in the garden. And he enjoys mowing the lawn. Once a year, I’ve been known to assist with mulching (well, maybe). My point is, find a way to turn being outdoors into something more than drudgery.
- And finally, if all those ideas don’t work, try to bring some plants and sunlight into your home. We’ve discovered that we enjoy having live plants in our home. And dark walls might be on trend, but they make the house dark. So, we’re opting for lighter colors.
As we age, it can be very easy to shift our routines, so we spend more time inside and less outdoors. It could have a negative impact on the way we feel. Maybe we just need to change what we do outdoors. Find new activities that fit more with our unretirement lifestyle.
Image created by Sharlyn Lauby