Partners' Message

Thursday, 5 March 2015

The Health Benefits of Fresh Air and Sunlight

As a very small boy growing up, going to school and playing around with friends and siblings, a lot of things actually went on without anybody paying close attention. I recall now as I look back when my mom or dad would ask me to take out the towel or the mattress into the sun, or for it to receive fresh air. I also recall many years back in the village, when my grandmother would harvest fresh vegetables and keep the extra on the thatched roof top of huts and barns for the fresh air and night dew to keep them company till the following day. The result was always that the open air kept the vegetables and fruits fresh.

Fresh air and Sunshine can mean the world to you

Take out the mattresses

But try wrapping up your fresh vegetables in a nylon bag for a few hours and see what happens to them. Something interesting seems to be going on here; obviously your vegetables or fruits will quickly start to go bad because bacteria will easily find their way and also actively do their duty of speeding up the decay process. 

Even today as people still do, but seldom recognise the need to carry out these practices, I begin to realise even more as I observe, the benefits of taking out the mattress to have fresh air and sunlight beat on it. The point is that scientists have discovered that most of the microbes that cause infectious sicknesses and diseases are not able to survive sunshine and even fresh air most of the time. Thus sunlight acts sometimes as natural disinfectant - working against pathogens and germs that hang around in the air. 

Natural disinfectants

To ascertain these points, British researchers carried out an experiment to find out how long airborne pathogens would last in the air when exposed to fresh air: At the end of the day, E-coli microorganisms that were exposed to the open air at night (because it was already established that they would die off when exposed to sunshine) died off after about two hours. Yet when the same was placed in a closed box under the same temperature and humidity, in similar location, were able to survive even beyond the two hours period.

There is therefore a clear evidence of the fact that sunshine and fresh air play a lot of role in both the elimination and prevention of germ growth. Little wonder victims of deadly infectious diseases such as Tuberculosis are usually people who are predominantly caught in crowded and congested environments.

Sunshine comes with an natural Vitamin D

It is for these same reasons that more than two centuries ago, Dr. John Lettsom (1744-1815) prescribed sea air and sunshine for child victims of tuberculosis (TB). And no wonder it is also proven by medical research that field and open air workers like farmers, animal ranchers, etc, are the least likely to contract tuberculosis as compared to their counterparts who work indoors or spend most of their times in enclosed environments. The latter are undoubtedly more prone to these types of infections.