Based on survey data
Taking into account where we live, work and undertake leisure activities, on average we spend 90 per cent of our time indoors This is why the Velux Group decided to carry out a survey that asked people how they perceive their indoor life. In spring 2018, the YouGov online survey polled around 16,000 people in 14 countries across Northern Europe and North America. The survey data was then combined with existing scientific findings for the Indoor Generation study. The study focused on the changes that have taken place in the relationship between physical existence and the natural environment.
One of the key findings of the study is that there are big differences in how people perceive indoor living. Many people think that they spend less time in buildings than they actually do. The average is in fact over 21 hours, which is more than 90 per cent of the day. According to the study, the chronobiologist Till Roenneberg reports that during a typical working day, an employee will only spend an average of 15 minutes outdoors. Meanwhile, with electric lighting, digital devices and a 24-hour society, we are moving further and further away from nature’s rhythm.
Becoming more aware
The authors of the study ask: “Why should we be concerned?”. They want society to become more aware of the discrepancy between our perceptions and the reality of our modern lifestyles. They argue that we should give more thought to the impact our indoor lifestyle is having on our well-being. After all, if we improve our understanding of the ways that modern life influences our health and physiology, this could also lead to improvements in our living and working environments.
As well as calling on consumers to think differently, the study also calls for architectural concepts to be adapted. We spend most of our time in homes and offices, so steps should be taken to ensure that they have sufficient daylight and fresh air. Re-thinking the design of our homes and workplaces could also help to significantly improve well-being.