Why you should get out more this spring  | The Triangle

Why you should get out more this spring 

Photo by Kasey Shamis | The Triangle

Ah, the summer time, grassy fields, picnic blankets and hours spent laying out in the sun. What gets better than spending your time doing that? Midterms season, apparently. Given that it’s week five of the spring term with summer quickly approaching (a blessing for the lucky freshman who spend their summer free from the commitment of summer classes or coop), apparently not. Midterms season sees many students longingly staring out of their window at the passerby enjoying the Vitamin D and their peers at other institutions nearing the start of their summer break, and begrudgingly looking back down at their computer to submit the next assignment or study for the next three exams they have back to back. I’m here to tell you: go outside right now!

Being exposed to natural light has a myriad of benefits, not only for health and wellness but for productivity as well. The demands that many students face can be overwhelming, especially at a fast-paced university like Drexel. Heightened levels of stress and cortisol levels accompany those demands. Studies have shown that productivity actually improves if employees (or students in this case) are closer to a window, absorbing the rays of sun that they can manage to find around campus. Not only does natural light (not the light in the basement of the library) improve mood (which is good for overall happiness), but it also has an influence on the melatonin and serotonin levels produced in the body and brain. 

Vitamin D, which many students are already familiar with, has known effects on increasing bone health and decreasing the risk of fractures (both things that I am sure we want to maintain as much as possible). Just 8-10 minutes of sun exposure at noon has the potential to provide enough Vitamin D to be sufficient for human health and wellness. Fat cells in the body have the ability to store Vitamin D for months, so even just a little sun exposure can really go a long way in maintaining that healthy, happy persona that I’m sure many college students aim to embody. 

Looking beyond those pretty obvious effects of just a little sunlight exposure on the daily, a boost in creativity also accompanies more sun exposure. While this not only allows students to spend precious moments outside, they can also justify the benefits of spending time with friends on a picnic blanket on Lancaster Walk as they write their 1000 word midterm easily or sitting on the picnic tables near the volleyball courts cramming for their exam the next day. 

For students really adamant about their class or work commitments preventing them from seeing the light of day for most of the rest of spring term, simply having natural light nearby when working has been proven to improve overall wellbeing and happiness. Going for a quick 20 minute walk outside around campus or a picnic on a day off can really make the world of a difference.