Vitamin D deficiency can cause Britons to feel unwell in winter months.
Symptoms include more tiredness, more grumpy and unmotivated.
Now a study has found that Britons are living a mole-like existence – seeing an average of less than 10 hours of daylight a week during the winter months.
The study, of 2,000 workers found that during the winter months, eight in ten usually go to work in the dark and only head home after daylight has faded.
This is important, as a lack of Vitamin D really impacts health. Express.co.uk found that people living in Lerwick, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh, all in Scotland, need to take more supplements of the vitamin in winter.
Shorter days coupled with long working hours and a lack of time to take lunch breaks mean many are outside for just one hour and three minutes during the average winter work day.
But with the average adult only taking a 33-minute lunch break three times a week, 77 per cent have days where they don’t see any daylight at all.
And 56 per cent say they are even some weekends where they don’t leave the house during the light of day with some stating they only get around two hours and four minutes per day at the weekend.
The study, by Healthspan, found the lack of daylight leaves 56 per cent feeling more tired than usual while four in ten are more likely to be grumpy.
One in three have even worried they may be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D) as a result of spending little or no time outside.
Dr Meg Arroll, a psychologist working with Healthspan said: “Research has shown that our brains work differently at different times of the year. Being able to hold attention is best at the height of summer and worst in the depths of winter.
“However, memory is at its best during the autumn equinox when the length of day and night are about the same. These seasonal variations in brain function are related to the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain, specifically serotonin, which also affects mood.
“Therefore, lack of energy, feeling unmotivated and many of the symptoms people struggle with in winter can be linked to how the seasons affect our brain activity.”
The survey also revealed that in winter, despite Public Health England recommendation that everyone should take 10mcg of vitamin D, over 50 per said they didn’t bother to supplement and 20 per cent said they didn’t bother really to extra care to prevent themselves getting ill.
Dr Sarah Brewer, GP said: “It’s worrying that so many people are not topping up their vitamin D during the cold months of the year.
“Vitamin D is vital for immunity, as well as for bones, and deficiency is one reason why some people experience frequent coughs, colds, respiratory infections and even asthma attacks at this time of year.”
Top ten symptoms of low Vitamin D
1. More tired/lethargic
2. More grumpy
8. Unable to function properly
10. Trouble concentrating or difficulties with sustained attention
Vitamin D has also been found to prevent type 1 diabetes http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/870499/diabetes-symptoms-vitamin-d-sunshine-preventing-condition-immunity but a study which looked at blood samples taken from children every 3–6 months from infancy, for up to four years.
Foods high in Vitamin D
Cod liver oil