Why spending time outside improves your mental health and productivity
A 2018 study by interior landscaping firm Ambius found that over 60% of UK office workers spend less than 30 minutes a day outside, excluding their commute to work ¹.
Spending your lunch break outdoors is good for your mental and physical wellbeing. Plus, in a Workthere survey, 36% of workers questioned said that access to outdoor space during their lunch hour would boost their productivity ².
So stretch your legs, get some fresh air and give your eyes a break from the screen!
Reduce stress levels
One of the best ways to ease stress is to get outside in nature. Not only does this get you away from the office, but natural environments have a restorative effect. Even a view of nature out of the office window can help lower stress levels!
Green spaces are the most beneficial but even taking a walk through the city centre will get you out of the office and take your mind off your work for half an hour or so, giving you a chance to relax and letting you come back refreshed and ready to work.
Boost mental energy
It’s not uncommon to suffer from mental fatigue caused by long hours spent concentrating on your work. Fresh air and time away from your screen at lunchtime will make you feel more awake, giving you a boost of energy for the afternoon. Spending time in nature will also help you to concentrate better when you get back to work. Furthermore, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues may all be eased by spending time in the great outdoors, particularly if you combine it with exercise.
How to spend more time outdoors during your workday
- Eat lunch outside: take advantage of nearby picnic spaces to get some air.
- Take a walk during your lunch break: combine fresh air with exercise to boost your energy levels.
- Hold walking meetings: instead of sitting at the conference table, consider whether meetings with colleagues could be a "walk and talk" where you could get outside.
- Cycle or walk to work: if you can, commute all or part of the way by bike or by foot; it’s good for the environment and good for you - both mentally and physically!
² Franklin, N. (2017) "Average UK worker takes just half an hour for lunch each day" Workplace Insight