5 Nov 2016

Soaking in sun may reduce stress

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Soaking up sun may help you to keep level of emotional distress stable, finds a new study.

"When it comes to your mental and emotional health, the amount of time between sunrise and sunset is the weather variable that matters most. This applies to the clinical population at large, not just those diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder," said Mark Beecher, Professor at the Brigham Young University, US.

The study analysed many meteorological variables such as wind chill, rainfall, solar irradiance, wind speed, temperature and more. The weather data could be analysed down to the minute in the exact area where the clients lived. 

The study focused on a clinical population instead of a general population and used a mental health treatment outcome measure to examine several aspects of psychological distress, rather than relying on suicide attempts or online diaries.

According to the study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, one thing that was really significant was the amount of time between sunrise and sunset.

"On a rainy day or a more polluted day, people assume that they'd have more distress. But we didn't see that. We looked at solar irradiance, or the amount of sunlight that actually hits the ground. We tried to take into account cloudy days, rainy days, pollution but they washed out," Beecher added.

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