January 29, 2013
Benefits of Glass & Natural Light - Why It’s good for your health
Written by Rebecca Clayton
January 29, 2013
Written by Rebecca Clayton
The human race has revolved around natural daylight for thousands of years, and many religions have worshipped the sun as it was praised as being the ‘source of life’. Electric lighting became available and popular at the end of the 19th century. Before then our ancestors relied on the sun to provide the light and over time candles were used in the dark evenings which gave a soft, mood lighting which wasn’t as harsh as modern electric lighting.
Before electric lighting was commonplace, the human circadian rhythm was centred around the sun and determined the working hours and living patterns were adapted around the sun. Our modern living environment means that working patterns have changed and we have all become hugely dependent on artificial lighting – we’ve even developed ‘day-light lights’ that create the same colours as natural daylight to trick our bodies to feel like we’re more in-tune with nature's body clock.
Modern culture has also reduced our time outdoors because most of us are working during daylight hours, 5+ days a week. This has made it incredibly difficult to gain the benefits of daylight as we simply aren’t outdoors enough to benefit from it. Regardless of these modern ways of living, humans remain programmed to benefit from natural daylight but we can no longer experience the natural day and night cycle that revolves around sunlight.
Lack of access to natural light has been singled out as of the main causes of ‘sick building syndrome’ in offices and workplaces, so homes and workspaces need to let in more light to ensure people are happier in their living and working environment. Large glass facades or fire-rated frameless glass partitions are a great way to bring light further into a workspace which boosts well-being while improving circadian rhythms.
The human body is supposed to react in synchronisation with the sun: as the sun rises, so should we. Our sleep quality is dependent on our circadian rhythm as we are programmed to respond to the sunlight, but it is difficult to do this in modern times especially during the colder months when we have fewer daylight hours but the same working hours.
When our ancestors lived outside our circadian rhythm was beautifully in synchronisation with the sun. As the sun rises our body knows that it’s time to start the 24 hours clock begin a productive day and as the sun sets our bodies start to relax and rejuvenate ready for the next days' cycle. All the artificial lighting in modern society throws our circadian rhythm out of balance as our tv screens, phone screens and computes trick our body into receiving light at any time of day or night.
We all need to be productive whether we’re at work or not, and sunlight is a great way to become naturally more alert. There is a reason why we all feel happier and more productive during the summer months when we’re exposed to longer amounts of sunlight.
Going outdoors and exposing ourselves to hours of sunlight each day isn’t always practical as we have jobs that usually require a lot of time indoors with only a short lunch break where we can enjoy the outdoors. Increasing the amount of glazing in a property or workspace is essential to improve the natural connection between the sun and us humans. ‘Wellness architecture’ is growing increasingly popular with architects wanting to improve the quality of living within modern buildings by breaking the divide from the outdoors.
Increasing the amount of glass used on architectural projects not only helps with the lighting bill but also helps with the heating bill as the sunlight penetrating through the glass helps to heat up the interior space through ‘solar gain’. By using intelligent glazing techniques, you can not only heat up properties but brighten the interior design and therefore improve the occupants' connection to nature.
IQ Glass can incorporate large architectural glazing elements into any project, increasing concentration levels, quality of life and leaving great minimal detailed glazing.
www.iqglassuk.com (0)1494 722 880 firstname.lastname@example.org
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