All too often we spend our days indoors. Even more so post Covid 19. When we spent our time away from the natural sunlight, our eyes are deprived of full spectrum light. The lighting used in our offices and institutions are not full spectrum, which leads us to feel sleepy after some time. This is when we take to caffeine and sugar in the form of a tea/coffee break. This has the unsavoury effect of raising our glucose level, which crashes subsequently to make us feel hungry and frustrated. Our insulin levels also rise leading to insulin resistance and diabetes with this.
Yet another aspect of sunlight deprivation is the deficiency of Vitamin D. Even when we are taking balanced and nutritious diet, without sunlight the body experiences Vitamin D deficiency. The deprivation of sunlight is also said to cause depression and a host of other diseases. The bones are believed to get brittle with Vitamin D deficiency.
A simple solution to this is to step out into natural light for a moment or two after every two three hours in office. This will address the issues of feeling sleepy at work or studies. It will also help in strengthening the body with Vitamin D. The principle of behavioural psychology in nudging people to get out into sunlight can be achieved through little nudges in the form of posters espousing this concept. This page catalogues posters made in this theme.
Organisations are encouraged to rechristen their “tea – breaks” as sunbreaks. This will help sensitise people about the need to spend a moment or two in the sun. The idea of #sunbreak may be given visibility through the social media as a good will gesture. Many progressive organisations have adopted the concept of sunbreak, a list of which is given on www.3SandOurHealth.org/sunbreak. Organisations and individuals are requested to carry forward this idea in the interest of public health. 3S and Our Health Society will be happy to collaborate with the effort.