Most Americans are aware that they spend too much time in buildings. With the average American spending 87% of their time indoors and 6% of their time within a car, people are only getting outside for about 7% of their day! All of that time spent indoors can take a toll on your health, as the air quality indoors is poor and rife with pollutants.

One of the best ways to get you and your family outside is by installing a deck. But before you begin picking out hand railings, be sure you know know why you want to get outside. Having sound logic backing you up can help you make the move outside with your family. Included here are a few surprising facts about spending time outside.

Boost Your Creativity and Focus

While some employers believe offering a room with a view will cause their employees to daydream and lose focus at work, exactly the opposite may be true. Most people experience a boost in their personal creativity and focus after spending time outdoors and being exposed to natural greenery.

Additionally, because natural environments reduce your level of stress, it is likely that you will be more focused, and less irritable, when you return to work. Imagine just taking five minute breaks outside a couple of times a day and getting into some greenery. Spending just a few minutes in the natural environment could clear your mind of stress and allow you to refocus.

Boost Mood and Self-Esteem

In modern America, depression has become a rampant illness. With countless individuals suffering from this “modern illness,” the causes are just as difficult to pin down. Some experts argue that one primary source of depression is a removal from your natural environment. More time spent in natural greenery has been proven to boost your mood and your self-confidence.

Boost Vitamin D Intake

Another cause of that pesky depression is a lack of vitamin D. While some climates have always suffered from a D-deficiency, the increased indoor time has only exacerbated the problem. By getting outside for 15 minutes during the height of the sun, you can boost your vitamin D levels which will drastically improve your health. Low vitamin D levels have been linked to depressive moods, increased exhaustion and much more.

Boost Your Health

Another recent study demonstrated that among individuals who exercise outside, the outdoor exercisers get more exercise and have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Could it be the indoor gyms are making your workout more stressful than it has to be? Exercising outside exposes you to fresh air, changes in terrain, and weather variations, making your work out much more fulfilling.