The Health Benefits of Taking an Outdoor Break

Recess isn’t just for kids. Adults should take outdoor breaks, too. More than one study has shown that adults also benefit from spending time outdoors. The benefits increase when we combine time outdoors with exercise—even simply walking.

Anthony McKeandVarious studies from researchers across the globe have found exposure to nature can:

  1. Reduce stress and anxiety
  2. Alleviate symptoms of depression
  3. Improve concentration
  4. Boost creativity
  5. Make you happier
  6. Strengthen your immunity and make you healthier
  7. Help us get more vitamin D

Too many workers walk into the office early and don’t leave the building until it’s time to head home. While it may be counterintuitive, taking a walk or eating lunch outside – or even sitting on a bench daydreaming - can actually improve productivity!

Outdoor Options

We believe offices and commercial buildings should provide green spaces where employees can take breaks and recharge. Depending on the outdoor (and indoor) space, consider these options:

  • Provide walking trails on the property with benches where people can stop and relax;
  • Include outdoor art with nearby seating – consider sculptures or living walls;
  • A water feature can encourage relaxation and offer a Zen feeling;
  • Add some simple exercise equipment like steps or a chin-up bar along the walking trail;
  • Include picnic benches in random spots to encourage outdoor lunches;
  • Add a butterfly garden;
  • Landscape with edibles and encourage walkers to help themselves;
  • Have bike racks available for those who choose to ride to work;
  • A landscape contractor can provide information about a roof garden;

If the building can accommodate it, include indoor greenery or living walls so employees can get at least some benefits when the weather isn’t cooperating!

Greenscape is a proud supporter of the Come Alive Outside movement. We encourage the creation of work spaces that will engage individuals and draw them outdoors. The benefits of spending time outside are proven, and we should all take advantage of nature, fresh air and sunshine.

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