Let’s face it. When summer comes, none of us want to spend much of our time indoors. Not surprisingly, we have a strong biological connection to nature surrounding us and a deep-rooted desire to be among that natural landscape. Whether in a fragrant garden, woodland, or simply sitting on a bench feeling the sun and breeze, we are drawn to the outdoors. This innate love of life and living things is called ‘biophilia,’ making many of us crave to be outside.
There are several proven benefits to working outdoors, yet many of us don’t get the opportunity or are hesitant to discuss the possibility with employers or coworkers. The facts are that we can achieve significant mental and physical benefits from working outside. Even taking a lunch or rest outdoors will help rejuvenate our senses and energy levels.
- Vitamin D. Exposure to sunlight for short periods will create vitamin D inside our bodies, which helps us fight off illness by helping to regulate our immune system. Vitamin D is also essential for healthy bones and teeth and regulates calcium and phosphorus absorption. In addition, it’s believed to fight symptoms of depression and could support weight loss. Ten to thirty minutes in the sun per day is all it takes.
- Posture. Slouching, crossing our legs at our desks, and leaning over to stare into our computer screens leads to sore back muscles, stiff necks, and eventually compromised posture. Moving around outdoors and taking a short walk will give our bodies a much-needed stretch and help us maintain good posture after sitting too long at our desks.
- Energy Boost. Most office buildings have recycled and filtered air. Getting outdoors and breathing in fresh oxygen will aid in burning fuel in our cells to create energy, regenerating our focus and productivity and improving our overall energy level.
- Relieve Eye Strain. Spending some time outdoors and refocusing your eyes on the elements of your surroundings will help alleviate eye strain and brain fatigue from over-exposure to a computer screen. Natural light is always best, and though you may need sunglasses, your eyes will still thank you for the break.
Mental and Emotional Benefits
Being outdoors can elevate your mood and reduce anxiety, while being indoors for hours on end can instill feelings of being trapped, drained, and stressed.
- Reduce Stress. Fresh air and oxygen reduce stress-inducing hormones like cortisol and can significantly improve anxiety experienced while on the job. When you can’t get outside, open a window, and enjoy deep, calming breaths.
- Relax and Remember. Being outdoors helps to relax muscles and, as a result, reduces stress leading to symptoms of depression and brain fog. Improved energy from increased oxygen may also enhance your cognitive abilities, so if you are feeling stressed, take a moment to go outside, walk around and clear your mind.
- Boost Productivity. Working outdoors for short periods may significantly enhance your productivity, creativity, and positive outlook. When possible, grab your portable device and head outside. If being outdoors is not an option, discuss with your coworkers and management how the company can incorporate outdoor elements into the office space.
Werkstatt360 welcomes the outdoor elements inside through bright and airy office spaces to create a harmonious work environment.