Light and doping
Hainan 24th October 2010
I am borrowing this title and subject from an article in the latest PLD magazine that I just received. The article talks about the positive influence of lighting on school kids, specifically those starting early (when still dark) and who as a result have not had their daily dose of daylight. While I assume the title was used tongue in cheek, there is something to say about using (day) light as a “performance enhancing drug”.
In today’s top sport and high performance activities doping is rife and there isn’t a Game or World sports event without somebody caught suspected of doping. Cyclists, weight lifters, athlete’s, you name it, some of the biggest names have been caught out on doping. As we speak Alberto Contador, this year’s winner of the Tour de France is being suspected of doping. Even Lance Armstrong can’t escape suspicion. They use blood stimulators and other performance enhancing drugs that provide more stamina, more muscle power, more endurance. But really isn’t light the most natural drug? I would nearly say it is an organic performance enhancer, staying with today’s terminology. All natural no side effects! J
We tend to forget that (natural) lighting is one of the most powerful medicines that exists, but in today’s world we take lighting so much for granted that we forget how much light can make or break our health and with it our physical and mental performance! I blogged in one of my very early blogs about the need for our daily dose of daylight. I am sure that research will find that with dedicated light therapies we can enhance our human performance in every aspect! It is still very much an area of research and an area where we as “ordinary” lighting designers still have to learn a lot. I know airlines are researching the subject to combat jet lag, night shift workers are being studied in relation to light and performance and the subject of school kids and lighting is now a hot topic as well. While doping has a negative connotation, (natural) light is definitely the drug of the future!