Why do people get sick in the winter?
While it is a myth that cold air can make you sick, it is undeniable that staying healthy during the winter can be challenging. Healthline notes that while only germs can cause you to catch an illness, there are many factors associated with low temperatures that can make you more susceptible to disease.
1. Indoor humidity levels and ventilation
According to Healthline, indoor air that is too dry can promote the survival of germs. Using room humidifiers to improve air quality can create a healthier environment, since bacteria will be less likely to prosper. The source also noted that sometimes, central home heating systems can cause dry air, so using space heaters to warm your home is often a better option.
Proper ventilation is also a crucial part of stopping the spread of disease. A study done at the School of Environmental Science and Engineering at Tianjin University in Tianjin, China, revealed that students living in dorm rooms with poor ventilation systems were more likely to catch colds than those living in spaces with good air circulation.
2. Cold air promotes respiratory issues
If you are asthmatic or simply prone to respiratory issues, breathing cold air can cause you to experience unpleasant and often painful symptoms. Healthline notes that this, in addition to irritants commonly associated with the winter, like burning leaves or fireplace ash, is often the reason behind cold-weather coughs and chest pains. The source suggests avoiding these aggravations and wearing scarves or neck coverings when venturing outdoors.
3. Spending time inside
In the winter, your main focus should be staying warm. Chances are the windows and doors of your school, office or home are all shut and you are constantly in close quarters with other people. If one person is sick, it is more likely that everyone in the room will contract the germs as well. Make sure you stay vigilant about living a healthy lifestyle that will support your immune system. Eat healthy, get plenty of sleep and wash your hands.
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