FORT MILL, S.C., Nov. 2, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — A survey by YouGov of 16,000 people worldwide reveals that 60 percent of Americans believe daylight affects their productivity. Fifty-five percent think exposure to daylight affects their sleep8.

(PRNewsfoto/VELUX America LLC)

Numerous studies have proven the role of daylight in promoting a good night’s sleep while highlighting the negative impacts a lack of daylight has on health3.

“Exposure to light-dark cycles is an absolutely crucial part of our biology and that’s due to the role of light in resetting our circadian clock each and every day,” said Dr. Steven Lockley, neuroscientist and associate professor at Harvard Medical School. It resets our clocks to be in tune with environmental time, and light is the primary time-cue. If you’re exposed to higher light levels and bluer light in the daytime, then you get a better stimulant effect. You’ll be more alert and have better cognitive function; potentially be more productive at work and so on.”

The global survey was commissioned by global skylight manufacturer VELUX for a report called The Indoor Generation, aimed at highlighting the importance of living in healthy homes and the role fresh air and natural light play in them. Initial findings revealed that over half of those surveyed believe they spend between 6-10 hours outside each day; in reality findings from the US Environmental Protection Agency show that on average people only get outside for about 2.5 hours each day – that’s 90 percent of their day inside.

“It’s clear that many people across the world believe that daylight has a notable impact on their sleep and productivity and it’s very likely that there’s some truth in these beliefs. Studies have revealed that the daily light dose might be too low among people in the Western countries,” said Peter Foldbjerg, Head of Daylight, Energy and Indoor Climate at The VELUX Group.

As the days become shorter during the switch to Standard Time and colder, the importance of getting enough daylight is even more acute. A review published by the National Research Council Canada suggested that inadequate exposure to daylight could be detrimental to our wellbeing.

Our body clocks are informed by the different levels of daylight in a 24-hour period, we need plenty of light during the day and darkness at night to ensure a good night’s sleep. Some of the consequences caused by poor sleep include depression, diabetes, heart disease and weight gain. Other side effects linked to poor sleep include higher risk of work accidents, reduced concentration and low mood and difficulties in making decisions4.

Daylight can also help enhance productivity

As many as 63 percent of people polled globally in the YouGov survey said that daylight influences their productivity. The link between daylight and office productivity has also been widely investigated and various studies show that daylight and a view to the outside increase performance at work.

Workers in a call center were processing calls 6 percent to 12 percent faster when they had the best possible view versus those with no view³. Other office workers, meanwhile, were found to perform 10 percent to 25 percent better on tests of mental function and memory recall when they had the best possible view versus those with no view.

“One relevant question to raise, with these findings in mind and the fact that personnel costs typically account for 90 percent of a business’ operating costs: Do the offices and schools offer the right thinking-environment that boosts the performance of employees and children’s learning?” Foldbjerg said. 

Top tips for improving your sleep

  • Increased exposure to daylight will help you sleep at night – sitting near a window at work or school and making an effort to get outside more will also help with this
  • Eliminate light from the outside to enter your bedroom at night
  • Sleep in a cooler bedroom
  • Avoid looking at electronic devices (TVs, smartphones / tablets) which distribute blue light before going to sleep – this can trick the brain into staying alert at the wrong time of day
  • Establish a good bed time routine – read a book instead of having more screen time
  • Give children a red or orange night light if they are afraid of the dark as these are the least disruptive to sleep

About The VELUX Group

For more than 75 years, the VELUX Group has created better living environments for people around the world; making the most of daylight and fresh air through the roof. Our product programme includes roof windows and modular skylights, decorative blinds, sun screening products and roller shutters, as well as installation and smart home solutions. These products help to ensure a healthy and sustainable indoor climate, where people work, learn, live or play. We work globally – with sales and manufacturing operations in more than 40 countries and around 10,200 employees worldwide. The VELUX Group is owned by VKR Holding A/S, a limited company wholly owned by non-profit, charitable foundations (THE VELUX FOUNDATIONS) and family. In 2017, VKR Holding had total revenue of EUR 2.5 billion, and THE VELUX FOUNDATIONS donated EUR 168 million in charitable grants. For more, information, visit www.velux.com.

About VELUX Skylights

VELUX is the world leader in skylights and roof windows and is one of the strongest brands in the global building materials sector with sales and manufacturing operations in more than 40 countries. VELUX America products are available nationwide through home centers, building material suppliers, lumberyards and independent door, window or roofing retailers. Consumers can locate local suppliers and installers and access information on skylight selection by visiting www.veluxusa.com or www.whyskylights.com. VELUX skylights are made in America in Greenwood, South Carolina.

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Website: www.veluxusa.com/indoorgeneration

Sources

  1. People spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors (WHO Europe 2013 report, US Environmental Protection Agency), http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/environment-and-health/air-quality/publications/2014/combined-or-multiple-exposure-to-health-stressors-in-indoor-built-environments
  2. Principles of healthy lighting: a role for daylight, Jennifer Veitch, NRCC. 2002, http://www.iar.unicamp.br/lab/luz/ld/Sa%FAde/Pesquisa/Principles%20of%20Healthy%20Lighting.pdf               
  3. Office workers productivity is impacted by poor light (Heschong Mahone Group (2003) Windows and Offices: A Study of Office Worker Performance and the Indoor Environment), http://h-m-g.com/downloads/Daylighting/order_daylighting.htm
  4. Why Sleep Matters – the economic costs of insufficient sleep: A cross country comparative analysis (Nov 30, 2016), RAND Corporation https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1791.html
  5. The Physiological and pscyhcological effects of windows, daylight and view at home, Jennifer Veitch and Anca D. Galasiu (NRCC, 2012) https://nparc.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/eng/view/fulltext/?id=06e1364d-71f3-4766-8ac8-f91da5576358 
  6. Assessment of daylight quality in simple rooms, Danish Building Research Institute by Johnsen K., Dubois M., Grau K. (2006), https://www.velux.com/deic/daylight/daylight-with-roof-windows-flat-roof-windows-and-modular-skylights.

    YouGov Survey

  7. Research for The Indoor Generation Report was carried out by YouGov in March and April 2018 surveying around 16,000 homeowners across Northern European and Northern America (Great Britain, USA, Canada, Denmark, Germany, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and Spain).

    For direct access to YouGov raw data, please provide your email address and you will be granted access to YouGov’s online data portal.

How much time do you think you spend indoors during an average 24-hour day?

0-14 HOURS

15-18 HOURS

19-20 HOURS

21-24 HOURS

%

%

%

%

DENMARK

25

29

29

17

GREAT BRITAIN

25

28

25

23

USA

34

21

20

25

GERMANY

38

25

23

15

FRANCE

47

25

18

9

BELGIUM

45

24

18

13

NETHERLANDS

51

24

16

9

CZECH REPUBLIC

57

26

12

5

SLOVAKIA

35

30

25

10

ITALY

57

27

11

5

AUSTRIA

32

30

25

13

SWITZERLAND

41

26

23

11

SPAIN

45

27

19

9

CANADA

31

21

22

26

TOTAL RESPONDENTS

38

24

20

18

 

How does daylight influence your sleep?

Not at all

A little

Somewhat

A lot

Don’t know

%

%

%

%

%

DENMARK

19

29

25

20

7

GREAT BRITAIN

21

33

23

19

5

USA

22

18

26

29

5

GERMANY

12

27

30

27

5

FRANCE

15

29

28

23

6

BELGIUM

19

26

26

26

4

NETHERLANDS

22

26

25

25

3

CZECH REPUBLIC

14

28

27

30

2

SLOVAKIA

9

27

26

35

3

ITALY

14

23

28

34

1

AUSTRIA

12

28

27

30

2

SWITZERLAND

15

29

26

26

3

SPAIN

17

28

28

26

2

CANADA

18

24

26

30

3

TOTAL RESPONDENTS

17

27

26

26

4

 

How does daylight influence your productivity?

Not at all

A little

Somewhat

A lot

Don’t know

%

%

%

%

%

DENMARK

10

21

34

30

5

GREAT BRITAIN

19

26

29

20

6

USA

21

14

26

34

5

GERMANY

8

21

38

29

5

FRANCE

12

23

32

25

7

BELGIUM

16

18

31

31

4

NETHERLANDS

21

17

28

31

3

CZECH REPUBLIC

12

19

33

35

1

SLOVAKIA

8

15

33

42

3

ITALY

12

14

31

41

2

AUSTRIA

8

21

37

31

2

SWITZERLAND

10

20

38

29

3

SPAIN

10

17

35

35

3

CANADA

16

17

28

37

3

TOTAL RESPONDENTS

14

19

32

31

4

 

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SOURCE VELUX Skylights