Future generations face health risks from life indoors
- New Indoor Generation spends 90% of time indoors
- Indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than outside but 77% are unaware according to global YouGov survey
- Children’s bedrooms are often most polluted rooms in the house
- New report by VELUX examines importance of daylight and fresh air to health
Living in damp and mouldy homes increases our chance of asthma by 40% and unless we act now we risk endangering our health as a result.
A new 24/7 indoor generation is unaware that the air inside our homes and public buildings can be more polluted than outside, with the vast majority of people (77%) believing indoor air is just as polluted or cleaner than that found outside. In fact, it can be up to five times more polluted.
The VELUX Group has unveiled the results of The Indoor Generation report – a survey across 14 countries that found an overwhelming misconception about the impact on our health caused by spending too much time indoors, especially on children, whose bedrooms can be the most polluted room in the house.
The Indoor Generation refers to a growing number of people who spend the vast majority of their time indoors – currently 90 per cent of their lives – compared to previous generations.
Dr Hilary Jones GP & Health Broadcaster said: “The rapid change in our lifestyle from spending large amounts of time outdoors for work or relaxation to becoming an Indoor Generation carries with it several risks, not least when it comes to health in dark, poorly ventilated homes.
Everyday home life activities, such as cooking, cleaning, showering, lighting candles, air drying clothes indoors and even sleeping and breathing, all contribute to polluted indoor air, which over time can lead to mould and damp homes, increasing our risk of developing respiratory diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Pollutants present in everyday household objects are releasing toxins into our homes – detergents and the plastic toys that we give our children to play with, as well as building materials, are just some of the items which can actually worsen our indoor air quality.
It’s believed more children will suffer from asthma or allergies unless homes and public buildings are better ventilated, and the chances of being diagnosed with asthma increase by 40% if you spend too much time in damp, mouldy buildings.
77% are unaware indoor air is more polluted than outside
The survey also found a significant disconnect between how people think we live our lives and the way we actually do, with only 18 per cent of people saying they spend 21 hours or more inside. But the actual figure is far more worrying, with previous research discovering a new ‘indoor generation’ who spend about 90 per cent of their time – and often in dark, poorly ventilated and unhealthy buildings.
VELUX has launched a short film “The Indoor Generation” to raise awareness of the importance of living in healthy homes and the small changes that everyone can make to improve their living environment and indoor air quality. It can be viewed here.
Here are six simple steps to make the air inside your home healthier:
- Open your windows at least three to four times a day to allow fresh air in
- Keep bathroom doors closed and turn on the extractor fan or open a window when showering
- Turn hood fan on when cooking and open your windows
- Don’t burn candles
- Dry clothes outside
- Clean regularly
For more, visit the Indoor Generation website.
Watch the Indoor Generation video here
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