Sunlight therapy for wellness and health of employees – even during the pandemic
Most people are aware that treating illness is not enough to keep us healthy. We jog, go to the gym, eat vegetables and stop smoking – or have a bad conscience for not doing so. Wellness, however, does not have to be about gym cards that are never used or running shoes that are at the bottom of the closet because there is no energy and motivation. Sunlight therapy is a growing phenomenon in wellness, which shows clear positive effects for both physical and mental health.
Strengthen health during the pandemic
An effective way to strengthen the body is physical activity. Unfortunately, several of the measures and restrictions against the spread of Corona virus led to reduced physical activity, as many people believe that the restrictions mean that they have to stay at home. Many more will be affected, not only by infection, but also by mental illness as a result of stress and anxiety about the consequences of the pandemic, such as losing a job or business. There, physical activity can act as a buffer against stress, anxiety and difficulty sleeping.
But what if you can not cope with physical activity or simply do not have the energy?
Sunlight gives energy to physical activity
Right now, we are entering dark period with bad weather and reduced physical activity. For some, the change of seasons comes with increased fatigue and seasonal depression, so-called SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). If we do not get enough light during the day, the circadian rhythm and thus sleep is disturbed. It can be difficult to sleep, which affects both mind and body. We need to see light to wake up and stay alert and feel sunlight with its warmth deep into the skin to keep us healthy.
On a half-cloudy day, the brightness outdoors is 8-9000 lux, if you move indoors, about one to two meters inside the window, it is 1000-1500 lux and then the light intensity decreases rapidly.
The visible light from Sunwell’s solar simulator is between 10,000 – 30,000 lux and is very effective for light therapy. However, Sunwell’s artificial sun differs from traditional light therapy lamps by including the sun’s full light spectrum: low UV radiation as well as comfortable heat from infrared light (IR).
Artificial sun for staff health
To avoid sick leave and a tired staff, it may be a good idea to invest in a wellness solution that has been shown to have major effects on seasonal depression. With the Sunwell solar simulator in the workplace, staff well-being increases and sick leave decreases. Specifically, employees with a foreign background from warmer countries have difficulty coping with the Nordic climate during the winter period.
There is great potential for private enterprices as well as public sector to adopt sunlight therapy as wellness for their employees. Companies can install solar simulators in their own dining rooms to promote employee well-being, or why not in the conference room to create different and for sure memorable customer meetings.
Sunlight therapy falls under the Swedish Tax Agency’s approved wellness activities that employers can offer tax – free to their employees via wellness allowances. For the same reason, the turist and wellness industry such as spa hotels or conference facilities can also benefit from offering sunlight therapy:
- To offer that “little extras” to spa visitors and conference guests and stand out among competitors, especially now when the number of conferences and customer visits is declining due to pandemic.
- Sell sunlight therapy as a fitness activity to external guests.
Solar rooms in elderly care
A better working environment in nursing homes that have invested in a Sunwell solar rooms is also clearly noticeble in the daily work. More elderly people get access to sunlight despite limited staff resources. The sun rooms also fulfill an important social function and lead to better health, reduced drug consumption and ultimately socio-economic benefits.
At a nursing home in Vänersborg, a room with a tropical environment and solar simulator was installed as part of wellness program for staff health. The evaluation of the project showed a reduction in sick leave by 25% in 2 years.
Sunlight and heat despite travel restrictions
In the footsteps of the Corona pandemic, it became difficult to travel to hot destinations, due to canceled flights and fear of infection. How long, we do not know yet … In Sunwell’s solar rooms with artificial sun you get a wonderful break from everyday life without having to travel far.
As climate change also requires us to travel less, Sunwell’s solar simulator is an environmentally conscious and climate-smart alternative.
A summary of Sunwell’s artificial sun as wellness for staff health can be found in an article in the special supplement Di Healthcare in Dagens Industri on 22 October 2020 (Swedish version only).