Voluntary house arrest

It was the morning of March 8. The sun was brightly shining down, displaying its raw beauty and heat as my hand slowly reached out of the dark corner of my front porch. There was a burning and tingling sensation at first, but it eventually passed. I slowly stepped out of the shade, letting the sun bathe me with its light, and surprisingly, I did not burst into flames.

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Hannah McGee / Legacy Media
According to Health Day, half of teenage boys and a quarter of teenage girls reported spending an average of more than 42 hours a week in front of electronic screens.

After having spent nearly seven months locked behind the pile of work that seems to never leave my room, the comforting idea of spring break became a reality this past week. People, not just students, need to spend more time outside and less time trapping themselves indoors. We are so obsessed with our electronic devices that we fail to see beauty placed right before us.

I used to despise staying inside all day with nothing to do but watch TV. Getting outside, especially with friends, can be a refreshing experience. Along with fun experiences that can be shared with others, going outdoors carries other benefits as well.

According to a 2009 study published in the “Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health,” the closer people live to nature, the healthier they are likely to be. This study also found that those who spend more time outdoors are less likely to become depressed, suffer from life-threatening illnesses and fail to not get a good night’s sleep. I realize that air conditioning, blankets and a marathon of “Lord of the Rings” can be a tempting offer, but going outdoors can provide more benefits than spending nine and a half hours watching mythical creatures fight each other on a screen.

Sadly, as I’ve grown older, my small corner of the world even became overrun with technology and my love of the outdoors slowly began to fade. As I grew accustomed to staying inside, I became familiarized with things like Netflix, Flappy Bird and Instagram. These meaningless TV shows and games benefit people in no way whatsoever. According to WebMD, spending one hour a day outside can help in increasing vitamin D levels.

Infographic from Business Insider

Currently there are more than half a billion people worldwide playing computer and video games at least an hour a day – and 183 million is U.S. alone. Now, if these people dedicated said hour outside instead of devoting that time to a screen, they would see all the beauty, wonders and benefits that the outdoors have to offer.

Those opposed to spending time outdoors argue minuscule details such as “there are too many mosquitoes” or “there is nothing to do out there,” but these small problems can be fixed with some bug spray and a bit of imagination. I am not saying that everyone should throw their phones in the toilet and go burn down every Best Buy in their area, but we should spend more time outdoors and less time trapped behind our devices.