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“More than any other element, natural daylight and its many moods and variations can affect the way we feel.”
Daylight is a constant in our lives. It greets us every morning. It tells us when the day is over. It tells us when the seasons change. It boosts our mood. It helps to reduce stress levels. It gives our immune system an almighty kick in the right direction.
And most of us can’t get enough of it.
During the working week, most of us are exposed to minimal amounts of natural light, between commuting and the office, it’s often late in the afternoon / evening that we get a chance to step outside. From experience, during intense periods of work, there have been days when I don’t see any natural daylight; it’s a little depressing when I really think about it and I actually lose track of what day it is! This should never be accepted as ‘normal’ and only as an exception.
The Daylight Project celebrates all things daylight; its benefits and influences that inspire and restore human life and the natural surroundings in which we exist. It deconstructs daylight and celebrates it in all its forms, from its role in art, health, science and architecture.
Daylight is about more than the symbol of a new day, it can be inspirational, it can heal and it can motivate.
Click here to watch a video on natural light and its effects on wellbeing. The video features Oxford University Professor and TED speaker, Russell Foster, a daylight expert and circadian neuroscientist who shares his ground-breaking research on how daylight affects our bodies. While light and dark is something we generally associate with vision, Professor Foster’s research shows that even blind mice can sense and react to daylight. This research could play a key role in understanding the “winter blues”, and why we tend to feel less fatigued when the sun is shining. In fact, Professor Foster explains that rather than coffee or other stimulants, a “photon shower” plays a key role in increasing wakefulness in the body. In his own words, he says:
“The impact of light on our sense of wellbeing is phenomenal. While my alarm clock has the ability to drive me out of bed in the morning, what I really need to shake the grogginess is to expose myself to morning light. It’s a crucial part of my daily routine that will set my body clock for the day. The powerful effect a morning ‘photon shower’ has the ability to make you feel like a different sort of person – alive and ready for the day.”
With that in mind, I think I should start to a) walk part of my route to work each morning and b) enforce my lunch breaks!