17 Science-Backed Benefits of Taking Your Work Outdoors More
If you’re like the average person you spend most of your time indoors at work or at home. To complicate things more, most people spend a significant portion of their day sitting – according to Business Insider, 86% of workers sit all day at their jobs.
And studies show, that working indoors and a desk job can have many many serious health consequences, including a 40% increased risk of death if you don’t make time during your day to move around and/or get outside and enjoy the fresh air.
The reason? Human beings are not made to be locked inside a cubicle all day. We are biologically built to move around and get in touch with the outdoors. Our bodies need to experience changes in air, temperature, and scenery to interrupt the stagnant office environment.
Interestingly enough, most construction work takes place outdoors. While it is hard work, studies have shown a wide range of benefits when you work among trees, fresh air, and sunlight, including increased creativity, productivity, and more positive outlook. This explains why we often feel at peace when gazing at scenic landscapes and greenery.
Companies like Google have realized this and incorporated nature into their office environments to improve their employees’ performance.
However, many jobs, including those in construction, take place at a desk. To show the benefits of bringing your desk outside, we created an info graphic that covers the dangers of not making time for the outdoors and the science-backed benefits of working outdoors.
Considering all the benefits, why aren’t we spending more time outside at our jobs? An L.L. Bean study found that while 87% of people who identify as “indoor people” enjoy the outdoors, 65% felt that their job was the biggest barrier to spending more time outdoors.
But even your job doesn’t lead itself to be outdoors, there are still you can still reap the benefits of working outside.
First, you can set up an outdoor workspace. Make sure you are close to a wi-fi access point or having cell phone data tethering turned on. A portable charger will keep the juice on your devices, while shade and an anti-glare screen will allow you to minimize the brightness of the sun and still enjoy the benefits of fresh air, greenery, and ambient light.
Even if you work in a highly urban environment and need to stay stationed at your desk, you can start doing smaller science-backed activities like daily exercises, eating lunch outside, growing your own indoor planets, and working with a window that has a view of nature. A walking team meeting could help provide a creativity and morale boost.
Nature has a powerful effect on us, whether we are walking leisurely and doing difficult manual work. Science shows that an outdoor job can provide us with more energy, enhance our mood, and improve our well-being. Not only is it good for our health, but also ultimately good for business.