This series of four posts is inspired by Cottage Country’s Get Outside posting from not so long ago. The full image is shown at the bottom of this article and of course on Cottage Country’s original post.
The Big Disconnect
As the image below says, “For the first time in human history, more people live in cities than in rural environments. Instead of inhabiting wide open green spaces we live in crowded concrete jungles, spending over 90% of our time indoors and away from the natural environment. The urban migration has important physical, mental and cognitive implications. We urgently need to wake up to the link between human health and the natural environment and make a person and collective commitment to reconnect with the great outdoors.”
This message is so powerful yet my guess is that very few people will actually care to think about it. We are spending over 90% of our time indoors! That number includes driving for those know-it-all’s who want to point out that they commute 4 hours every day to/from work. 90% is a ridiculously large number. It means on average we’re spending LESS than 2 hours and 24 minutes a day outside. More drastically it means we’re spending MORE than 21 hours and 36 minutes inside. Assuming you sleep approximately 8 hours a night (Stats Can Statistics) and you work approximately 8 hours a day (Stats Can Statistics) what the hell are you doing for the additional 5 hours and 36 minutes? And what are you doing on the weekends?
72 hours a week – how do you choose to use them?
Based on very simple math, 168 hours in a week subtract 56 hours for sleeping and 40 hours for working that leaves you with 72 hours. Assuming you don’t work or sleep outdoors, although both me and my wife can attest to camping under the stars and the benefits of it, what choices are you making with the remaining 72 hours of your week? Ask yourself some simple questions:
- How many hours a week do I spend in my car? going to/from work? What steps can I take to change this?
- How many hours a week do I spend in front of the television? What steps can I take to change this?
- How many hours a week do I spend doing chores in the house? (This includes cooking/cleaning/etc.) What steps can I take to change this?
- How many hours a week am I wasting indoors doing nothing? What steps can I take to change this?
My real life example
It would take me 30 minutes or more to drive to/from work. If I take the bus/seabus it takes me nearly an hour. That’s 5-10 hours of my life spent in a vehicle every week. The decision, start biking to work. From my door at home to the place I lock my bike it takes me less than 30 minutes to ride. It takes me an additional 20-30 minutes to shower, dress and be in the office. By making this decision, I’ve added 5 hours of outdoors time to my week. More importantly I’ve actually made myself just as efficient as driving and more efficient than taking the bus. Showering/dressing is time I’d still have to spend at home before coming to work.
Similarly, we have eliminated cable from our house and we only do chores when it’s raining or there’s enough dog hair on the floor to make us think we have 2 dogs. We have placed a priority on being outside. Whether that’s running, biking or just simply walking the dog.
What steps can you take to change your amount of time outdoors?
Maybe you could start going for a walk outside every day during your lunch break or coffee breaks. Maybe when you get home, instead of immediately sitting on the couch, you take the dog for a walk. Maybe you look at options for biking or walking to work? Maybe you dedicate one day on the weekend to spend the entire day outside. What can you do to increase the average time per week outside to more than 15 hours and 36 minutes?
My next post will highlight the Urban Millenium/Lifestyle, of which I’m 100% a part of, but choose to do my part to not conform with the masses.