Studies to Prove Exercise's Benefit Doesn't just Come from Daylight?
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Q:  Studies to Prove Exercise's Benefit Doesn't just Come from Daylight?

Hello Dr Phelps, 

I love your work.  It is a godsend. 

I have a question. 

 - Are there any studies to prove that exercise's benefit doesn't just come from daylight?  It is clear from your website that an important factor in mood control is blue day light.   

Have there been controlled studies comparing 3 situations:

1, no exercise at all

2, exercise in daylight

3, exercise in the dark.   

(I'm wondering if the main 'feel good factor' in exercise doesn't just come from day



Pamela...  p.s. Your well-referenced work is entertaining and life-changing.  Big thanks!


Hello Pamela --
Thanks for the encouragement, appreciated. As for your question, to my knowledge, no such research.  I would be astounded if that work had been done (it takes a lot of energy and money to do this kind of research, and this is not where the current priorities lie).

However, based on what my patients report about their experience with exercise, I don't think the benefits are limited to those who exercise outdoors. Although it's not my preference, there are people who get much the same benefit re: mood from working out in a gym.

Our local university set up a room in which people ride exercise bicycles while sitting in front of a big wall of light, sort of a gigantic light box. (They also have a room in which the exercycles and stairsteppers generate electricity which is used to run the electronics in the room. Now there are some forward thinking gym rats.)

Cheers --
Jim Phelps


Published June, 2009


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