Sunshine… on my shoulder… makes me — sane? Is this more proof that good ol’ vitamin D is healthy for us? It’s not like I needed an excuse to get out into the sun and feel the warm rays on my bare skin. I look forward to that every rainy day I experience. But, now I have proof that playing hooky from work or school and spending the day in sunshiny abandon is actually the healthy thing to do. Here’s the proof in case you need to explain it to your boss or teacher. (And the tie-in with Google)
This beneficial chemical does NOT actually come from the sun. It is activated by it. When the sun’s ultraviolet rays touches our skin, the vitamin D is metabolized from the chemical reactions started by the UV rays hitting out bodies. Sound strange? Think of vitmain D as the animal version of photosynthesis. Proof that life derives from the sun in a more direct way.
The most widely known benefit the sun provides us with is strong bones. Vitmain D helps the body absorb calcium from the foods we digest and build those strong bones Mom always told us about. But, vitamin D does so much more. It also helps prevent Ricketts, Osteoporosis and cancer. But, we were talking about mental health.
When the sun comes out for good, the human mind has trouble focusing on important things like algebra or spreadsheets. If we have a classroom or office with a window to the world, all we can see and think of is that sun and how it looks so warm through that clear glass. Oh, how we want to be on the other side. Subconsciously, we must realize how the UV rays cannot penetrate the glass and reach our skin to metabolize that vitamin D. We must go outside to receive our healthy dose of the stuff. We must. We must.
How did scientists finally catch up with all of those teenagers whose common sense has realized this since time’s first thaw? We now know how low blood levels can lead to symptoms such as depression, several mood disorders, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and even PMS. Forget all of those test tubes and rhesus monkeys. The true lab is on the Internet. Google to the rescue!!!
Since the inception of the Internet and browsing and search engines, we have been watched to see what we are looking for. While this is great for companies who want to know what we are buying or ISPs who want to know what we look for, it is also great for looking at societal trends to understand what we are thinking. Someone discovered that when the sun comes out, the number of searches relating to mental health drops by almost 50 percent! Every spring, a lot of people stop thinking about bad things and stay off the Internet. Where are they going? Into the sun of course. People spend most of their outdoor time in the sun (not the rain). People camp during the summer, go to the beach, get a sun tan… Like everything on a Ritz cracker, most things are more fun in the sun. Don’t believe us? Just ask a teenager.