Back to Blogs
3m read

Outdoors For All

The “Indoor Species”

The average American spends 95% of time indoors, and youth today are spending upwards of 7.5 hours a day in front of a screen. REI posits that we are becoming the world’s first “indoor species” in the powerful new piece,“The Path Ahead.”

We know that time spent outdoors has many benefits; it raises levels of vitamin D (protecting us from bone problems), reduces attention deficit symptoms and decreases PTSD symptoms, lowers stress, and reduces inflammation.  The feeling of “awe” generated by time in nature has been proven to promote creativity, generosity, and empathy.

Getting Your Zs

Humans are also [re]learning the importance of rest and sleep.  Did you know that time spent outdoors is proven to increase the quality of sleep? Time sleeping is not the absence of something; it is during this time that the healing/repair of our body takes place. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.

Rest also allows for the brain to make unexpected connections, be creative, and experience inspiration.

Will you Opt Outside with Us?

As an organization that serves 10,000 communities across the country—and in our work in youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility—we believe the Y has the opportunity (and a responsibility) to reduce barriers, ensure access, and provide opportunities for spending time outdoors. And to broaden the definition of what it means to be in nature- it's not just a hike amid trees or in the mountains- it's also a picnic in the park or a stroll in your neighborhood. Like the Y, the outdoors is for all people.  Everyone is welcome, everyone belongs.

Join us next Friday 11/24—and through the Thanksgiving weekend—in spending time outdoors with family and friends.

#OutdoorsForAll #OptOutside #NatureRx #HealthyLiving #YWeOptOutside #FamFriday