Most people are receiving an insufficient level of oxygen on a daily basis, which is damaging their health. This is occurring in two ways.
- Shallow Breathing
- Water Tight Indoor Environments
Shallow breathing is a result of stressful and on-the-go lifestyles that prevent people from relaxing and taking in those deep breaths that are commonly seen in yoga videos and so on.
It’s believed that the average person doesn’t use the bottom 1/4 of their lungs. Because we aren’t taking those deep breaths, our lungs have toxic waste sitting at the bottom of them simply causing damage.
Our cells need oxygen and a sufficient supply in order to operate at their optimum. Without this we can develop cancers, age far quicker and receive problems with our brain.
In order to solve shallow breathing we must practice deep breathing on a daily basis until it becomes a habit to do so naturally. Every time you catch yourself barely breathing try and suck in as much air as possible a few times.
Water Tight Indoor Environments
Every modern build has certain regulations to follow. Tests will even be done to see how much heat a building retains. Everything in terms of construction is based around two things. Being structurally reliable and being energy efficient. It’s the energy efficient part that is playing havoc with our bodies.
Firstly you have to realize what happens when we breathe out. We release large amounts of carbon dioxide when we exhale, which in large enough amounts is toxic to humans.
Think about the typical human life, there are so many complications in terms of poisoning ourselves.
- Sleeping in a closed off room all night long, perhaps with another person. This is double the amount of carbon dioxide being exhaled. Without a window being open, carbon dioxide can slowly dominate the room and cause many issues. This is why many people find it so hard to wake up in the mornings, the air in the room is knocking them out, making them sluggish and docile.
- During the winter most people won’t open the door/windows for months at a time. Perhaps they open the door to go to work, then again when they come back. Our homes are carbon dioxide traps. Think about what we said earlier concerning energy efficiency. Homes are built to keep heat and air in, and to keep the cold air from entering. Windows in the last 15 years have made the transition from a single thin sheet of glass to double glazing. The difference in leakage is phenomenal. It means you’ll save on your energy bills, but your personal energy will be rock bottom. In short most people are living in their own carbon dioxide waste on a daily basis. This could explain why so many people are happy to slump in front of the TV, have a nap or simply feel tired as soon as they arrive home.
- The workplace is no different. Again each building has been manufactured for energy efficiency. However the workplace is far more severe. Certain offices can contain hundreds if not thousands of people all emitting carbon dioxide. Some people may say that air conditioners are in place, but air conditioners only control temperature, not air quality.
- Cars work on the same theory. They are made to be more energy efficient so that fuel lasts longer. This means that in the colder months, your car also becomes a carbon dioxide trap.
Is There A Solution?
In the Winter, not really, but in the Summer you can open up every hinge-able thing you see. There have been recent studies where scientists have used lasers in order to separate carbon dioxide into oxygen and carbon monoxide molecules. This would mean pure oxygen and less carbon dioxide circulating around our offices, homes and cars if these machines were built-in. However, the amount of oxygen they’re currently able to extract is minimal, but the process has been proved which is the initial and tallest hurdle.
In Winter you’ve not really got a choice. Who really wants to keep their house cold? Who really wants to blast down the freeway/motorway in minus temperatures with the windows open completely freezing to death? I also imagine that you’d receive some serious flack if you opened all of the windows at work when there’s snow on the ground and howling wind outside.
Your only option is to get fresh air whenever possible, without upsetting others. If that means opening the windows in your home for 30 minutes each day, then so be it. If that means opening your car window sporadically on long journeys, then again so be it. If that means going for walks outside at work during lunch breaks, then get it done. Just aim to freshen the room/your house/your lungs up regularly.
A lot of you are probably wondering if it’s all worth it. Well take a look at this…
The Dangers Of Sealed Environments
- When we breathe inhaled oxygen is 21%, inhaled carbon dioxide is 0.04%. Exhaled oxygen is 15%, exhaled carbon dioxide is 4%. This suggests that we’re putting less oxygen back out and a far greater carbon dioxide concentration. It suggests that carbon dioxide poisoning will kill you before oxygen deprivation will.
- In a room around 30 feet by 20 feet by 8 feet a person can expect to survive for around 12 days maximum if they never left and simply breathed in and out constantly. Add a family to that room and we see the dangers. Granted death may not end up being a danger under normal conditions, but the amount of extra carbon cannot be healthy.
- The average amount of carbon in typical outside air is 380ppm (parts per million), regulations claim that classrooms cannot be 700ppm above that total, which usually falls between 1000ppm – 1100ppm. However these regulations were determined based on body odor and not carbon dioxide levels.
- With that being said classrooms that have been found to contain higher levels of carbon dioxide also coincide with higher student absences.
- In a study 4 individuals at a time were placed inside a small office building for 2.5 hours with a one hour break in-between. Pure carbon dioxide was pumped into these buildings at 3 different concentrations. 600ppm, 1000ppm and 2500ppm. Remember that outside air is around 380ppm.
- The individuals were put through multiple tests and here’s what they found. Decision making decreased moderately at 1000ppm from 11% to 23%. They also decreased significantly at 2500ppm with a 44% to 94% decrease in decision making. The most dramatic numbers were seen in strategic thinking and taking initiative tests.
- This is alarming once we learn that the average workplace/classroom ranges between 1000ppm and 3000ppm depending on size of the room and number of people in the room.
- In conclusion it would be accurate to suggest that our brains don’t work as well inside as out. With the combination of classrooms, workplaces, energy efficient homes and cars, we our children, friends and family are probably operating on a much lower level than normal for the majority of our day.