Health Hazards of Getting Cooped Up Indoors

Health Hazards of Getting Cooped Up Indoors

indoor air

Are you so busy with your household task, that you do not find time to step out of your home? Well. It is not a very healthy concept. Staying indoors the whole day can be very unhealthy. Fresh and sunlight is very important for a healthy being.

Is Indoor Air Better?

Many would argue that, the indoor air is much safer than the polluted outdoor air. There is so much toxication and pollutant in the air from all kinds of sources that one fears to breathe the air outside. Polluted air from industries, vehicles, burning substances and so much more are travelling in the air all the time. The fog or smog does allow these pollutants to escape into space. People end up breathing it and developing various kinds of health problems.

Several studies have shown that, indoor can be as bad, or in fact much worse than outdoor air. Since people tend to stay indoors much longer than outdoors, they are affected by the polluted indoor air. Small children, people with ailments and elderly people are most susceptible to the pollution indoors.

Causes of Indoor Pollution

No Ventilation

Indoor pollution can be because of no proper ventilation. In the olden times, most houses had a chimney or a small gap in the wall to let out impure air indoors. Now with heating and cooling systems these ventilations are covered, leaving no place for impure air to escape outside.

Faulty appliances can be a major source of pollutant indoors. Nitrogen dioxide from gas cookers, residue from wood stoves all add to the pollution.


Room fresheners, perfumes, etc. all send out chemicals and pollutants in the air. Polluted air building up indoors can be detrimental to health. The air inside keeps re circulating.

Allergens and Viruses

Allergens such as dust mites, cockroaches, hair from pets all get lodged in Carpets or fabric of the couches. It can create health problems.

Sometimes, particularly in winter months you have all kinds of viruses in the air. If you do not open your doors and windows to let fresh air and sunshine in, these viruses can cause all kinds of problem for health.

Tobacco and Chemicals

People prone to asthma can get severe attacks when exposed to tobacco smoke, mouse urine, dust mites, and other pollutants in the air inside the house.

Toxic chemicals in paints, glue, varnishes, formaldehyde etc. can be quite dangerous to inhale. It can aggravate asthma, sinus, breathing problem in people prone to it.

The build up of carbon dioxide and nitrogen dioxide is seen to be more in houses that have poor ventilation Asthma, eyes, nose, throat and lung diseases are common in people who stay all the time indoors.

Mould spores are seen in houses which do not have proper ventilation. You can see it in damp places like the kitchen, bathrooms etc in grey, green or black colour. It can cause allergic reactions or hay fever.

Green Plants

Other than good ventilation, good cleaning and hygiene and also planting house plants can help to clear the air indoor to quite an extent. They bring about freshness to the air circulating within the house.

Outdoors Necessary

It is very important to step outside once in a while. The greenery outdoors helps to clean the polluted air. So the air is much cleaner than indoors. That is why it is important to plant more trees and greenery around you. It is very important to experience sunshine as it is a good source of vitamin D, which is very important for our body. It helps in the absorption of minerals that the body needs. The early morning sun is very healthy. Being active outdoors can help you become healthier and fitter than spending inactive time indoors.

Reviewed By:

Dr. Kaushal M. Bhavsar (MBBS, MD)

Assistant Professor in Pulmonary Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Ahmedabad