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Survey – Modern indoor living can be bad for your health

“…Whether we like it or not, we are the so-called “Indoor Generation”. On average, people spend 90 percent of their time indoors, yet many of us are not aware of the risks associated with our indoor environments. A new study by YouGov for the VELUX Group asked 16,000 members of the public in 14 countries across North America and Europe about their perceptions of indoor living. Firstly, we think we spend less time indoors than we actually do. The perception across all those surveyed was that we only spend 18 percent of our time inside (just over 4 hours), while the actual figure is 90 percent (more than 21 hours). And, at a time when urban pollution is top of mind for many people, only 77 percent are aware that in actual fact, indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air, with kids’ bedrooms often among the most polluted rooms in the house.

“We know instinctively that spending so many hours in stuffy places isn’t good for us,” says Peter Foldbjerg, head of daylight energy and indoor climate at VELUX, “According to research, living in damp and moldy homes increases our risk of asthma by 40 percent and leaves us vulnerable to developing other ailments.”

Everyday home life activities, such as cooking, cleaning, showering, lighting candles, drying clothes – even sleeping and breathing, all contribute to polluted indoor air, which over time can cause the development of illnesses. Indeed, it is thought that more children will suffer from asthma or allergies in the coming years unless we act now to ensure that the design of our homes and public buildings is improved in order to tackle the problem we face with indoor pollution, and the amount of time the Indoor Generation spends inside.

Foldbjerg continues: “With the pressures of modern life we are all now firmly a part of the Indoor Generation and we need to understand the implications on our health and wellbeing of life indoors, as well as outdoors, when it comes to polluted air…”

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