The importance of sunlight for human health was recognised by Hippocrates in ancient Greece:
he believed that the southern side of the hill, receiving the most sunlight each day in the northern hemisphere, was the healthiest place to live.
Around 400 BC, Hippocrates, the father of medicine, routinely prescribed sunbaths as part of his management of a variety of maladies.
In his health facility on the island of Cos, he had a large solarium that exposed patients to maximal amounts of sunlight as part of their therapy.
The Roman philosopher Aulus Cornelius Celsus (25 BC to 50 AD) recommended that sufferers of melancholy live in spaces full of light.
In 1863 Florence Nightingale appealed to hospital designers to include wards that were brightly lit by natural sunlight.
Recent research also confirms that sunshine is not an incidental bystander; it is a major determinant of human health.
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