Researchers from indoor climate solutions provider, Zehnder Group UK, have taken a deep dive into the nation’s winter habits - and revealed more than seven in ten (75 percent) insist they plan to hibernate from now until March.
The study reveals, that over the next 13 weeks - from the first of December to the 29th of February - the average UK adult will spend nine hours of their waking day inside, only venturing out for three hours.
During the 13 weeks of winter, we’ll spend 18 hours a week plonked on the sofa - that’s a staggering 234 hours in total.
We will drink 130 cups of tea or coffee, enjoy 13 duvet days, snuggle up to 39 movies, and watch 169 episodes of our favourite TV shows.
26 takeaways will be ordered, 13 Sunday roasts will be enjoyed, and the thermostat will be adjusted a staggering 39 times.
As many as 83 percent of the 2,000 adults surveyed say they avoid going outside during the winter unless they really have to.
And we’re a cancellation nation, according to the study, with 59 percent of us cancelling social arrangements if it’s too cold outside.
In fact, 78 percent say the best thing about the winter is not feeling the pressure to be outside “doing things” all the time.
Yet despite hunkering down, as many as 88 percent of UK adults feel run down, with sore throats (66 percent experience this during winter), blocked noses (59 percent) and dry skin (47 percent) the most common winter ailments.
Experts from Zehnder, who commissioned the poll, warn of the dangers of spending too much time indoors over the winter months.
Indoor air quality expert, Stuart Smith, comments, “Feeling cosy and staying indoors more throughout the winter months is a natural reaction to the cold, but by doing so, we could be creating a ‘sick’ environment in our homes and affecting our health.
“With Brits hunkering down to spend nine hours of the waking day indoors this winter, they need to be aware that our basic everyday activity - like making hot drinks, cooking, bathing and drying clothes inside - produces more humidity in the air leading to the risk of condensation, which can cause harmful damp and mould.
Alarmingly, almost three quarters of adults in the UK (73%) experience condensation on their windows and nearly a half (45.1%) say they experience mould in their homes.
“The average family produces 24 pints of water vapour a day through routine activity but many think opening windows and turning on extract fans, which would help extract the moisture, will make their homes too cold, so don’t,” Smith continues. “Interestingly those polled in the survey complain of feeling run down in the winter with tickly coughs, stuffy noses and dry or itchy skin and these are all symptoms of a bad indoor climate, not just the common winter cold. Left unchecked damp and mould can do serious harm.”
According to Smith, condensation occurs when warm, moist air meets cooler surfaces, for example a steamy bathroom and cold windowsill. This is particularly prevalent in winter as temperatures drop, windows get closed and households turn on their heating. The excess moisture in the air quickly condenses and homes are at risk of condensation. This all contributes to increased humidity in a home’s indoor air and without adequate ventilation, this moisture gets trapped and it creates the perfect breeding ground for mould, which can be toxic.
“In a home, a little condensation may not seem like a big deal, but the truth is, it's a silent indicator of potential trouble,” Smith adds. “Ignoring this seemingly harmless moisture build-up, like many in this poll do – with one in ten opting to just paint over mould break outs - can pave the way for a host of larger issues. It’s best tackled as soon as possible so people can go back to enjoying takeaways and movies in a safe and healthy home.”
Despite some of the challenges the change in temperature brings, a resounding 64 percent of UK adults said they look forward to the winter months.
Zehnder’s Indoor Air Quality Expert Stuart Smith, offers tips on how to keep your home healthy this winter:
To find out more about maintaining a healthy indoor climate and preventing condensation, damp and mould during these cosy times, visit www.zehnder.co.uk