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A Quarter of Americans Spend All Day Inside, Survey Finds ( 117

Zorro shares a report from The Washington Times: A quarter of Americans spend almost an entire 24 hours without going outside and downplay the negative health effects of only breathing indoor air, according to a new survey claiming a new "indoor generation." It's unclear how dangerous indoor air is in the modern era -- reports by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency evaluating indoor air quality are from 1987 and 1989, which found that it is two to five times more polluted than outside.

The "Indoor Generation Report" surveyed 16,000 people from 14 countries in Europe and North America about their knowledge and perceptions of indoor vs outdoor air quality and the amount of time spent inside. Of the results for Americans, a quarter said they spend between 21 and 24 hours inside; 20 percent said they spend 19 to 20 hours a day inside and 21 percent say they spend between 15 and 18 hours inside. Thirty-four percent said they spend between zero and 14 hours inside. Great Britain and Canada had similar results to the U.S., with 23 and 26 percent of its respondents saying they spend between 21 and 24 hours inside. The countries with the highest percentage of people who spend the lowest amount of time inside were Italy (57 percent), the Czech Republic (57 percent) and the Netherlands (51 percent). This group said they only spend between zero and 14 hours indoors.

A Quarter of Americans Spend All Day Inside, Survey Finds

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  • I do (Score:5, Informative)

    by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2018 @06:02PM (#56617398) Homepage Journal
    I spend all day posting to slashdot from my parents basement.
    • I can somewhat sympathize. While I'm not always on slashdot, I kind of have to stay inside, ever since my kidney transplant last December. Tacromilus makes your skin less resistant to UVA radiation, plus it reduces your immune response to cancer.

      I used to do a lot of outdoor stuff, but now I do light workout in the gym (until I heal.) They say I can use sunblock, but it's such a pain in the butt to apply every time. Even though I'm white, my skin doesn't really burn, so I usually never bothered with sunbloc

  • Fae fuck's seks

    'Kin merkins right

    They hae nae lekkie kettles

    They dinnae hae fuckin eggcups, fae fucks saek

    'n' the fuckin frae wirl cannae even manage openin windaez.

    Christ on a fuckin bike man.

  • As opposed to outdoor air? With all of the pollutants and allergens? Indoor air generally has filters and purifiers. Don't get me wrong, I love outdoor air too. It just seems silly to claim that indoor air is more dangerous than outdoor air.
    • people are living longer and longer in the USA; indoor air for the win!
    • by jonnythan ( 79727 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2018 @06:13PM (#56617452)

      Instead of wildly claiming some fact can't be true or is "silly" because that's just how you feel, take two seconds to google it.

      There's actual research on this. Claiming indoor air is worse is not "silly."

      • That could be an explanation for the czech being among the most indoor people :
        historically a former eastern bloc country, with some country regions having significant industrial development (coal mining, iron smelting, etc.) but not so much pollution control.
        thus people will percieve the outdoor air being more polluted and will develop the habit of staying indoor.
        (among tons of other different cultural reasons).

    • With all of the pollutants and allergens?

      Look around you. Nearly everything you see except bare metal and unvarnished wood is off-gassing a toxic, cancerous soup that you're breathing in.

      • by dryeo ( 100693 )

        The unvarnished wood, unless it was kiln dried, has been treated with fungicides which may be off-gassing.
        As for the bare metal, it really depends on the metal. Glass is probably the safest and even that might be leaded.

    • Stay inside and breath 2 to 5 times [] the CO2! Imagine the warming going on inside, too!
  • by bobmajdakjr ( 2484288 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2018 @06:09PM (#56617436)
    get that number up to three quarters and i'll consider going outside XD
  • Guess I should get a construction job. It looks like I'm disappointing someone, again.

    • by slew ( 2918 )

      Guess I should get a construction job. It looks like I'm disappointing someone, again.

      I'm sure that the air quality around construction sites will be disappointing to someone...

    • PETER - This isn't so bad, huh? Making bucks, getting exercise, working outside.
      LAWRENCE - Fuckin' A.
      PETER - Fuckin' A...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If you change the filters and keep up on maintenance, as well as bring in an air purifier or two, you can make the air in your home better then outdoor air. Outdoors has lots of pollen and other things floating around in the air that ranges from mildly irritating to downright toxic. Be like a low pollen day would be easy on an allergenic person while a day in some of China's smog filled cities would be very bad.

    Still, getting outside is still nice and a little bit of sun is suppose to be good for us.

  • I spent probably 23 hours inside. Between work, my car, and home - i'm inside most of the time.

    I've heard there's this thing called teh sun that emits radiation. I don't want skin cancer.

    Also, i'm in Los Angeles, where our motto is, "never trust air you can't see."
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Well if you add together work and sleep that is about 16 hours a day. Throw in a 40 minutes driving (to and from work put together) which while you can have the windows down, is more like inside than outside in most cars. Then add 1.5 hours for eating a cooking and you are only left with 5.5 hours, or 22.9% of your day. How many of those do you spending watching TV or reading a book in a comfy chair? While I probably spend most of those 8 hours and 40 minutes I would be working and commuting during the wee

  • by wgoodman ( 1109297 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2018 @06:18PM (#56617484)

    I live in Los Angeles and used to leave my windows open all the time until I noticed the thick layer of oily black "dust" that had covered everything. Now I only keep my bedroom window open with a furnace filter and a fan. There's also standalone air filters in my bedroom and at work. If you live someplace with less gross air, yeah, you should go outside more. Cities are a different story though.

  • by Pfhorrest ( 545131 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2018 @06:26PM (#56617520) Homepage Journal

    Outdoor air is great, if you mean really, really outdoor air, away from where people are. Outdoor as in the Great Outdoors.

    But outdoor air anywhere that people congregate if full of the contrails of filthy fucking ash-holes spewing their drugs into the air that other people have to breath.

    Give me clean filtered indoor air over the air around any sidewalk or plaza or roadway or parking lot any day.

    • by sjames ( 1099 )

      Unless someone over-does their perfume or cologne. In that case, I'll go to the smoking area to get some fresh air.

    • Assuming you're not allergic to much of the crap that Nature fills the air with in Spring and Fall. ( Pollens and Molds respectively )

      There is nothing wonderful about being congested or suffering from chronic rhinitis from that amazing outdoor air.

      To take it a step further, we won't even bring up all the man-made pollutants.

      Breathing the outdoor air brings an awful lot of misery for many folks. Thus, I can't blame them for shunning the outdoors.

      Would you go outside if it made you fucking miserable ?

    • Give me clean filtered indoor air

      Very few people have clean filtered indoor air. Even in many city centres over the course of the year you're better off breathing Ozone and NOx and particulate matter to the various VOCs that tend to accumulate inside buildings. Extra bonus points for taking a nice deep breath while cleaning you windows, washing your walls while your partner sprays deodorant and makeup everywhere.

      Indoor air is not as clean as you think.

      And extra extra bonus points for using an air purifier that generates ozone in the proces

  • Local Climate (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Roger W Moore ( 538166 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2018 @06:27PM (#56617524) Journal
    I'm not surprised that the figure is low for Canada and the UK. When it is -40C or pouring with rain most people will not want to go outside and I'm not sure it really is any healthier for them to do so. They should correlate these results with the local climate.
    • Except that the Czech Republic has a very similar climate to the most heavily populated parts of Canada. No, no. The problem is long working hours and long commutes in the Anglosphere.
  • by bobstreo ( 1320787 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2018 @06:38PM (#56617566)

    I mean when I go to work, it's dark, when I come out to go home, it's dark. Add another 8 hours of sleep and 2 hours a day commuting, there are 4 free hours for "outside" during a typical week.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      And you'll be lucky if you have a window seat at an office. One workplace had windowless interior labs used for contractors. You never got to see sunlight in Winter. At least not unless you were a senior engineer, manager or director.

    • Yeah and? WHen I cycle to the store it's dark, when I walk through the city it's dark. Don't let the lack of light stop you from going outside. Bonus points is that the air is fresher at night.

    • by DogDude ( 805747 )
      You can go outside in the dark, too, believe it or not. I do!
  • I counted.

  • It's Washington Times. Infect your brain with this fluff at your peril. Zero hours indoors indeed.

  • If I head out there, I might meet someone else. I simply can't take that risk

  • I get plenty of outdoor air breathing in all those wonderful car exhaust fumes on the way home from work.

  • by dryriver ( 1010635 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2018 @07:23PM (#56617782)
    How would one take naked airbaths like Benjamin Franklin AND squish ones toes like Nicola Tesla, all in the noble pursuit of becoming a genius, when one is outside where fellow citizens can see what one is doing AND vital equipment that has no business being paraded around outdoors? So the case FOR staying indoor at all times, always, and never going outside ever is rock-solid. It is the only surefire way to become a true genius. I believe the Japanese call staying indoors constantly "Cocooning". THAT is why the Japanese are so smart! (Takes his PS4 and puts it in the microwave)
  • is spent in traffic, breathing that oh so healthy air found in the middle of your typical freeway converted to a parking lot.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    If you weren't aware, (I wasn't) The Washington Times is a newspaper whole owned by the Unification Church.

    The weird questioning of "indoor air" and utter lack of science should be a tip off that something isn't right.

  • If they really wanted to make a point they should have come and done a count here in Phoenix in the summer.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If you live in Minnesota, you typically will stay inside. I have been there, by October they have ice on their lakes 2 feet thick. Only place I have ever been that got so cold I watched Anti-Freeze freeze and it you can throw a glass of hot in the air and it is ice before it lands. And then during the Summer it is a giant mosquito orgy due to all the lakes. Most don't go outside unless they are hunting or working. They even have houses they pull onto the lakes to fish. They will be indoors most of the time.

  • Here is a handy chart of particulate sizes the EPA has detected in the city air: []

  • by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @03:24AM (#56619090)
    Does that include time sleeping? If not I'm surprised at 57% of Czechs and Dutch spending 0 to 14 hours outside. If it is included then 21 percent of Americans spending between 15 and 18 hours inside sounds pretty high, unless you work outside that's essentially all your non working and non sleeping time.
  • Back in 2014, my over decade(?) overdue physical test's lab test resulted very low vitamin D. :(

  • Archologies (Score:4, Interesting)

    by lessthan ( 977374 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @07:22AM (#56619550)

    One of my favorite sci-fi futures is where all of humanity lives in archologies and nature is allowed to go rampant outside them. (The idea being that the population remains similar to what it is today, but the people are concentrated geographically.) One of the objections to the idea of archologies is that humanity wouldn't do well cooped up inside all day. It looks like we might be moving that way anyway.

  • What they are calling "all day inside" was set up to be the conclusion, as it lumps anyone who spends less than 3 hours outside everyday with those that never leave the house.

    If you spend an hour outside every weekday, then spend 7 hours outdoors each day every Saturday and Sunday, you are one of the people who spend all day, everyday indoors according to this "survey".

    2 1/2 hour walk every day? You're a shut-in, too.

    You could play a outdoor full regulation length soccer game and a regulation basketball gam

  • I have VR now so I continue to spend all day inside, although I think I'm outside for a couple hours.

  • But I happen to be a bubble boy, you insensitive clod!

  • In Japan it's called []

"Hey Ivan, check your six." -- Sidewinder missile jacket patch, showing a Sidewinder driving up the tail of a Russian Su-27