LONDON, November 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
-New infographic commissioned by First Choice explores the issue of SAD and the winter blues and highlights the importance of sunlight in our lives-
First Choice, one of the UK's leading leisure travel companies, has released an infographic that sheds light on how the lack of sunshine during the winter months is affecting a large proportion of the population in northern countries.
The infographic shows that 7 per cent of the UK population is affected by seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that materialises during the winter months when hours of daylight and levels of sunlight are at a minimum. A further 17 per cent are said to be affected by a milder form of the disorder called subsyndromal SAD, but more commonly known as winter blues.
First Choice commissioned the infographic after questioning whether the spike in holiday bookings it experiences annually in January could be put down to its customers longing to escape to sunnier climes and escape the near perpetual darkness of winter. First Choice pulled together data from knowledgeable sources such as the Seasonal Affective Disorder Association, Mood Disorders Society of Canada, Bupa and SAD.org.uk to create the infographic.
First Choice's research revealed residents in northern countries saw little to absolutely no sunlight outside the regular working hours of 9am to 5pm between November and January. New Yorkers can look forward to just under two hours of daylight in December, while London workers have just over an hour before starting their work day and Helsinki nine-to-fivers see none at all.
Nathan Timmins, Head of Online Marketing for First Choice comments: "Our findings in this infographic draw attention to just how little exposure to sunlight most of us have at this time of year. When you consider that SAD and subsyndromal SAD affects 7 and 17 per cent of the UK population respectively, with a higher percentage in some other northern countries, it's really no surprise that we see so many people booking beach holidays during the darker months.
"Although winter weather can leave us all feeling a bit sluggish, SAD and subsyndromal SAD sufferers can feel crippled during the winter months. Sunlight is vital in enabling us to live happy, healthy lives and deal with everyday stresses, so topping up on your sunshine levels is important to ensuring your happiness not only in the winter months, but all year round."
Jonathan Cridland, CEO at light therapy specialist, Lumie, said: "Office workers especially can struggle to receive the sufficient levels of light required to keep their circadian rhythm in synch with their working day as they wake-up in the dark, commute in low light conditions and more often than not, opt to sit inside during their lunch break.
"If a colleague or employee is suffering from SAD, a winter holiday to somewhere bright can help immensely. Similarly if they want to prolong the holiday feeling on their return or just can't get away, medical research has also shown light therapy to be effective as it helps alleviate the symptoms of SAD and has also been shown lift mood, boost alertness and increase productivity, too."
For details of how to win a Lumie light check out the infographic at http://blog.firstchoice.co.uk/out-like-a-light/
Notes to Editors:
To embed the infographic online please use the code featured on the First Choice blog:
Cambridge-based Lumie offers 20 years experience and expertise in light therapy and light therapy only for consumer healthcare and wellbeing, and invented the dawn simulator / wake up lights, with our Bodyclock range so that anyone could feel the benefits of waking up to light all year round.
As Europe's leading light therapy specialist, Lumie offers a wide selection of products, including Bodyclock dawn simulators, lightboxes and LED treatments, all of which are certified as medical devices and are available to customers on a 30 day home trial.
Based on scientific research, Lumie has lights for skincare, the treatment of mood and circadian rhythm disorders such as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and sleep issues, and for the relief of allergies like hay fever. Lumie is also an official supplier to British Swimming athletes.
Working in association with leading experts in Dermatology, Psychiatry and Chronobiology, Lumie has earned the respect of the medical profession by innovating products that are based on developments in scientific research and clinical trials. Lumie is a massive success in the mainstream health and wellbeing arena and prides itself on providing the highest level of personalised care to customers by offering knowledgeable, friendly advice through its customer care team and via its internet forum, http://www.lumie.com/forum.
In the UK our products are available through http://www.lumie.com as well as major retailers like John Lewis, Boots, Tesco and Selfridges and we have an expanding network of distributors across Europe and in North America.
SOURCE First Choice