When you think about all the forms of indoor entertainment available to us — the internet, cable TV, video games — it’s no surprise that the outdoors is having a hard time competing for our attention. But it turns out that a little exposure to the sun is not just beneficial, it’s actually vital to our health.
Ultraviolet rays from the sun convert cholesterol in our skin into vitamin D which does everything from increase bone growth and strength, to boost our immune systems. Research has even shown that increased vitamin D can reduce a person’s risk of cancer, heart disease, and even depression. So it turns out that gorging on TV shows like The Wire and Breaking Bad aren’t quite the pick-me-up we thought they were. At least not compared to a little time in the sun.