If you’re not yet aware of the importance of full-body sun exposure at key points from sunrise to sunset as a baseline for vibrant health and orchestrating circadian biology, I suggest catching up via my sunlight article and my sleep article for more context.
We’ve quickly arrived at a time where remote work is gaining more and more traction and I personally could not be happier about this. In my situation, this could not be a better opportunity, the first and most important reason being that outdoor life is way better and way healthier than stagnant indoor life, not only to thrive but to help others thrive.
In the past, starting as a teenager with the advances of the Internet (remember dial-up?) and gaming, I have led a largely indoor, domesticated, relatively isolated and sun-deprived lifestyle until only recently in the past 5 or so years. I was legitimately crumbling during most of my formative years, in part due to subpar nutrition, but now I adapt to my environment while reconnecting with my primal circadian rhythm, aligned with the rising and falling of the sun and increased exposure to the natural elements, creating greater balance with the intention of regenerating my health, metabolism, mitochondria, mood, enjoyment, and well being for the rest of my life. At 30, I feel better than I ever have in my younger years overall.
Living long-term in these modern industrialised indoor conditions so stagnant, sterile, and separated from the flow of the natural elements decreases your oxygen levels in a state of pseudohypoxia, negatively influencing the enzyme reactions that run your biochemistry, essentially crashing everything. The ratio of low electron to high protons in the mitochondria contributes to cellular dehydration, reduced mitochondrial function, and increased inflammation (suffering and stagnation, like in factory farming). The artificial isolated blue light from tech screens compounded with the effects of nnEMFs gets even worse, disrupting circadian signalling when cooped up indoors for long periods of time, away from sunlight, earth energy, and fresh moving air.
If you’ve worked in a typical 21st century modern office, you may be all too familiar with the highly inflammatory elements such as carcinogenic fluorescent lighting, drab drywall often with lead-based paints, possible mold in the building, harsh cleaning products and soaps with questionable fragrances, toxic air fresheners, dust, artificial air conditioner, pesticide-sprayed coffee with possible mycotoxins, repetitive radio music, uncomfortable industrial chair design, long commutes, urban pollution, irritating perfumes and colognes that mask pheromones while causing headaches and anxiety, and of course, the excessive artificial isolated indoor blue light from tech screens and non-native EMFs from wireless devices. Honestly, the only thing I miss about working in an office setting was the fresh spring water dispenser, improving my skills, and being in the company of my team. Remote working at an outdoor office desk, especially around others, can be a breath of fresh air (literally). It’s much more beneficial for workplace wellness to photosynthesise outdoors: we are wired to seek solace in nature, and our spaces should be designed to connect us directly with the earth.
You can’t heal in the same environment you became ill in.Anonymous
On this spring day in the northern hemisphere, I’m grateful to have the opportunity to bask outside in the sun while grounded and hydrated to recalibrate my nervous system and mental health, promoting sharper concentration, higher quality work, and to be able to bring more of myself to show up and better support my work team and communities. If you have an indoor job, please ensure you get outside periodically throughout the day, consistently. You can hyper-fixate and have the most individualised organic/biodynamic/wild foraged ancestral/primal food diet and do all of the things to support your health, but without consistent sunlight exposure on bare skin and a real sense of balance and safety in your body, none of it will work optimally for your goals.
This article will take you through my unique DIY remote work outdoor office setup, the reasoning behind why I do certain things, and tips to adapt your physical body to the usage of wi-fi outdoors vs. an otherwise safer, yet indoor, wired Ethernet connection. There’s a lot that happens with such a simple move, but it is what it is.
Build up your solar callus in the morning light each spring
In the northern hemisphere where I currently live at latitude 43.9, the spring season is the perfect time to build up a solar callus on your skin by getting outdoors at key points throughout the day: sunrise/morning, midday for a shorter time to tolerance, and sunset. Burning becomes less likely as you gradually and safely build up your solar callus consistently over the season to prepare for the sunlight exposure of the summer, eventually storing adequate vitamin D levels through next winter (note that isolated vitamin D pills don’t confer the same beneficial effects as actual sunlight). Consistency is key. Remote work on a laptop offers the perfect opportunity to cultivate your solar callus with the absence of an archaic indoor office setting.
If you’re not used to sitting outdoors all day, it may be best to take your remote work outside intermittently to personal tolerance (sunrise from 6-10 am with the healthier, overall safer morning light being the priority). When soaking up the sun, aim to wear as little clothing as possible (ideally full body nude if your context is ripe for it) so that your skin, acting as a solar panel, can soak up and integrate the goodness. Tip: sunlight directly on the belly helps modulate the gut microbiome.
Benefits of an outdoor remote work office setup
An outdoor remote work office setting brings you closer to the natural elements, restores your gut microbiome’s integrity, creates more balance, and provides biological rhythm cues. You are a battery made from water, charged by sunlight, and as a culture, it’s time we use this to our advantage (even in colder climates). Benefits:
- Barefoot grounding (grass, rocks, dirt, sand, etc) aka direct contact with the earth reduces inflammation, improves cellular hydration, mental, physical and emotional well being, and quite simply, feels good. It helps balance out the effects of nnEMFs from wi-fi and your laptop with the earth’s EMF. You release positive ions built up during an indoor lifestyle and gather the earth’s beneficial electrons into your body. When you sit on the earth, you could also visualise that you have roots that go deep into the ground, dispelling old energy, deprogramming, restoring and energising your body.
- Full spectrum sunlight exposure at key points throughout the day (sunrise, midday, sunset) orchestrates circadian biology via light energy, circadian rhythm, photobiomodulation (which connects to all of your cellular processes and mitochondrial function/redox status), and much more
- Your skin and eyes capture photons (light) via proteins called opsins and chromophores, which work synergistically to alchemise light energy into electrical signals in a process called phototransduction: the conversion of light into a change of the electrical potential across your cell membranes. In an indoor office setting, you get none of these benefits consistently throughout the year! To reap the benefits, all you need to do is get outside under sunlight.
- Exposure to natural temperature and the natural elements rather than air conditioner, as well as cold and heat exposure respectively, helps us utilise the hormetic benefits for health with a highly positive effect on mitochondrial function. We evolved with outdoor exposure to the elements, and staying in an artificially (stagnant) air conditioned or heated environment non-stop year round will do you no good. Hot days promote detoxification through sweating in the summer sun (also, consider the refreshing power of saunas).
- Fresh air flow promotes renewal of energy, emotional flow and real-ease, relaxation
- Sitting on the bare earth and not in a chair confers massive functional and practical benefits for mobility, posture, organ function, and joints (not to mention the benefits of grounding)
- Mitigate most of the effects of isolated blue light emanating from your laptop/tech screens via the full spectrum sun exposure around the screen completing the wavelengths (even in the shade outside)
- Optimising the effects of structured spring water, including gut health and cellular hydration, through barefoot grounding on the earth’s surface combined with sunlight exposure
- Time to get adequate sleep, cook all your meals with organic, homegrown, high quality ingredients and healthy cooking fats, and exercise
Items you’ll need for your remote work station
- Generic storage box (like a cardboard box) on its side to place your laptop in, or another source of shade to reduce glare and prevent laptop overheating, like a pergola with grapevines, tree, or gazebo
- Makeshift desk for your laptop (I have access to an above-ground fire pit, covered, not in use, and sturdy)—consider concrete blocks, chairs, bricks, stacked rocks, a tree stump, or logs. Be resourceful!
- Organic cotton towel or organic cotton/grass woven yoga mat or bale of hay/vegetation if you prefer a bit of padding while sitting. I currently use an organic cotton yoga mat on a rock patio (which is still grounded with the earth)
- Wired earbuds or wired headphones for work meetings or listening to music (wired to reduce non-native EMFs)
- Water bottle filled with cold wild spring water/coconut water and/or magnesium, lime juice, shilajit/minerals, and/or sea salt for hydration, or smoothie, tea, herbal tonic, hot cacao, etc. (whatever works for you)
Wi-fi (and non-native electromagnetic fields including Bluetooth, dirty electricity and cell towers in general) induces hyper-calcium glutamate activation and cellular dehydration, impacts your voltage gated calcium channels, affects leptin and melanopsin (and dopamine, cortisol/melatonin), modifies mitochondrial redox balance (thus the body’s innate detox capability), and interferes with the suprachiasmatic nucleus’ control of circadian rhythm, gut health (causing leaky gut, leaky brain), and much more, compounded with today’s highly inflammatory environment. It’s important to be mindful about it since nnEMF plays a major role in mitochondrial function, redox status, and electron transfer. Using wi-fi is a price I’d pay to work outside with proper, consistent, feel good sun exposure, cellular hydration, occasional dips in the lake, and barefoot grounding to balance it out.
Additional tips to support your body when it comes to outdoor remote work:
- Drinking and/or transdermally spraying (onto skin) a solution of diluted magnesium chloride and/or multiple forms of magnesium in remineralised spring, filtered, or distilled water (ideally deuterium depleted to improve sun tolerance) will be one of the primary means of protection from any nnEMF exposure, not only just in this context, but in general nowadays. You could saturate your skin (full upper body, front and back of neck, armpits) before sunlight exposure for max benefits. Click here for my magnesium article + recipe: https://roottoskykitchen.com/magnesium-supplement-the-miracle-mineral/
- Hydrate with fresh locally grown seasonal fruit and gelatinous grass finished ethically regeneratively pasture raised bone broths. Fresh coconut water is insane, if you can access it. Ever notice that you feel super hydrated from fresh fruits? That’s the structured, coherent cellular water, the same negatively charged 4th phase of water different from liquid, solid, or gas that exists in your body. Energy doesn’t only come from sun grown/raised foods. Harness the energy in your water battery and create a massive positive impact on your health using the infrared (IR) and ultraviolet (UV) light present from sunlight to energise throughout the day. Low levels of coherent cellular water have been associated with cancers, cardiovascular disease, mitochondrial dysfunction, and chronic inflammation.
- Cold/ice cold drinking liquids are most beneficial for nnEMF mitigation due to the impact of the cold on coherent cellular water and cellular hydration. On the other hand, warm liquids are better to promote lymph flow. Go according to the weather. Generally, a rich mineral and electrolyte profile preferably in quality spring water will help properly utilise the water intracellularly.
- Face east, particularly in the morning, to greet the sun as it rises. Red/infrared light from sunrise (as well as expensive red light therapy) helps reset mitochondrial status via coherent cellular water formation in cells, interacting with cytochrome 1 in the electron transport chain to facilitate ATP development.
- Daily grass fed and grass finished/wild caught locally pasture raised animal bone broth and saturated animal fat consumption (along with the typical nose-to-tail animal foods) at meals also serves to protect the body from the effects of the wi-fi. Humans evolved eating these nutritious foods.
- Eating wild caught seafood and shellfish, at least a few times a week, for the specific bioavailable SN-2 position omega-3 DHA to replenish the eyes (also the brain and nervous system) from the deleterious effects of isolated artificial blue light especially for the times when it rains/snows and you’re stuck indoors with your laptop. Raw or underbaked (not overly cooked) salmon, for example, preserves more of the brain boosting DHA in the salmon. Sardines, scallops and shrimp (cooked) are also some of my personal faves. Oysters are also top notch, providing an optimal iron/copper ratio. All your food should be grown/raised in the sun in season, along the photosynthetic web and according to your current latitude as much as possible for maximum benefits, one of the many factors in circadian alignment and metabolism. Visit your fishmongers, small organic/biodynamic/permaculture farms, and farmers’ markets.
- I do not recommend sunscreen for reasons listed in my sunlight article, https://roottoskykitchen.com/the-truth-about-sunlight/ but if you must use it, opt for a non-nanoparticle (won’t seep into your pores), non-toxic sunscreen such as this one by Living Libations. Sunscreen is a 6 billion dollar industry that only gets reinvested back to biased research papers. Coconut oil has a natural SPF of 4-5 so that can also be of some support (but not good enough to be a substitute). Sitting in the shade provides protection whether or not you have a callus built up. Please use common sense and build up that solar callus/sun tolerance carefully/intermittently in the spring. Shade still confers the awesome benefits of full spectrum sunlight, and will also prevent your laptop from overheating and reduce glare so you can see your screen properly while working.
- Wear a hat if you need to.
- Sunlight, barefoot grounding, cold thermogenesis, cellular hydration, and swimming in natural bodies of water can all act as Faraday cages from nnEMFs/dirty electricity. After work, go for a dip in the non-chlorinated lake!
- As always, avoid burning, go in the shade/back inside when necessary (when your body says no), and try to see the sunrise and sunset outdoors every single day for the rest of your life, as your day and night light environment is the most important factor in mitochondrial function (go for walks or read a paper book).
- With a setup like this, blue light blocker glasses are not necessary as you need to get the full spectrum sunlight into your eyes even when using the tech screen. When indoors, no doubt you’ll want to wear them at all times when using screens (day and night blue light blocker lenses respectively), but outdoors is your opportunity to chill. Do not wear blue light blockers outside in the daytime, you need that sunlight! I personally have plain prescription eyeglasses and use them when doing my work outside and other important tasks that require my full attention, but I remove them when relaxing, walking, and eating meals outside.
- Closer to the equator, the sun is stronger, so use your common sense for timing, and avoid sunburns.
- Use the D-Minder app to help determine the best window of time in your location to absorb vitamin D at midday (solar noon). Vitamin D status, which is only produced midday from the UVB light spectrum, is a very important indicator of mitochondrial status.
All of these tips will serve to improve your gut health in some way and help you thrive with remote work. For those of you who don’t have access to a grape vine-covered pergola (probably most), make do with what you have! Consider a concrete block, bricks, tree stump, or a stack of rocks as a desk for your laptop. Use an umbrella for shade, cardboard box to house your laptop, organic cotton plant-dyed yoga mat to sit on, and even going to a local park near a free wi-fi source can work.
Happy rewilding! May we connect with our inner and outer wild places and cultivate spaciousness, connection and play.
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”
Articles, resources, videos and studies:
Electromagnetic Fields Modify Redox Balance in the Rat Gastrointestinal Tract
Wise Traditions (Weston A. Price) podcast: What can we do about EMFs?
Glutamate, glutamate transporters, and circadian rhythm sleep disorders in neurodegenerative diseases
Avoiding air conditioning sickness
Wi-Fi is an important threat to human health (2)
Healthline: how to safely get vitamin D from sunlight
Is your environment making you sick?
Photomodulation of glutamate dehydrogenase properties by red light
Radiofrequency Fields and Calcium Movements Into and Out of Cells
Mitochondrial ROS signalling requires uninterrupted electron flow and is lost during ageing in flies