How Much Time You Really Need To Spend Outside Every Day

We've spent most of our adult lives getting schooled about the dangers of spending too much time in the sun, so much so that we know little about the benefits of some good old vitamin D from the sun and the importance of getting outside every day. "When your eyes detect light, that tells your brain (the hypothalamus in particular) to wake up and release the cortisol you need to increase your metabolism and get through your day," Anna Cabeca, DO, hormone expert and board-certified OB/GYN told Well+Good. It can also improve sleep. 

Better still, spending time frolicking in the sunshine may just strengthen your immune system. "There is now limited but convincing evidence that moderate sunlight exposure is capable of modulating the immune system and improving health," Daniel González Maglio, a professor at the University of Buenos Aires and researcher in the growing field of photo-immunology, told The New York Times. There's even talk it can boost your mood... in other words, sunshine is kind of essential to everyday living. But how much time do you really need to spend outside every day?

You should aim to spend at least 10 to 30 minutes outside per day

According to Shamir Patel (via Metro), pharmacist and founder of Chemist 4 U in the UK, "Taking just 30 minutes a day to take a walk outside — especially if you spend a long time inside — can seriously improve your health." 

Mathew White from the University of Exeter, on other hand, conducted a study with 20,000 people and found that all you need to aim for is two hours a week. "You can spread it over the course of a week or seem to get it in a single dose, it doesn't really matter," he told New Scientist

The sweet spot is likely to be somewhere in between, and it's partly a matter of personal preference. However, it's worth noting that you should be focusing less on exposing yourself to the sun and more on exposing yourself to nature. It shouldn't take a bright and sunshiny day to get you outside.