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Tap into the stress-relieving benefits of nature this Spring!

on Monday, 13 August 2018. Posted in Occupational Health, Managing Stress

Nature at work

Are you suffering from “nature-deficit disorder”? During winter we tend to stay indoors, sometimes leaving home for work in the dark, to return home to our houses, in the dark. On the weekends, we minimise our time outdoors. Yet, experts argue that a lack of time in nature can have a range of impacts on our health. Therefore, as winter passes and a sense of Spring fills the air, why not tap into the healing, stress relieving benefits of nature?

Experts argue that a lack of access to nature can have a profound impact on our health. Impacts include diminished use of the senses, attention difficulties, higher rates of physical and emotional illnesses, myopia (near sightedness), obesity, vitamin D deficiency and other maladies.

On the other hand, research indicates that our experiences in nature have great physical and mental/emotional benefits. Contact with nature can help us recover from mental fatigue and restore the brain’s ability to think. It is also a natural antidote to stress! Research from Sweden found that joggers who exercise in green settings feel more restored, less anxious, angry or depressed.

We live in high-tech environments – sometimes in front of our computers (or other devices) for most of the day at work (or school) – blocking out nature. Technology can be enormously useful. However, we need to balance things out by also spending time in nature.

Nature at Work

It is great to be able to get out during the weekends to the beach or the bush. However, there are some things we can also do during our working week to tap into nature. Here are a few great ideas:

  • Have a techno-fast – put aside time during the day at work where you are away from technology e.g. lunch-time. Do the same at home.
  • Cloud spot – if there is not much nature around your work-place, you can ‘look up’. Spot clouds (and their shapes) for 5 minutes. Be amazed!
  • Identify local nature spots – Think about where the greenery or water is close to work. It might be a little park. Visit one every day. Can you eat your lunch there?
  • Plants in the office – Greenery at work makes such a difference. Bring a pot-plant to work! (see our blog on the benefits of greening up the office).
  • Walking to work – park your car a little way from work or get off the bus a little early and enjoy the stroll to work through a park.
  • Take a walk before work – schedule in a walk before work, at least one day a week, taking in the birds and greenery around the local streets

Try these great strategies and ensure the benefits of nature, at work!

References:

Louv, Richard. 2016. Vitamin N. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.

Louv, Richard. 2012. The nature principle: Reconnecting with life in a virtual age. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.

Lunch-time seminars on stress management:

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Joyworkz offer a series of short 50-60 minute seminars to inform, empower and inspire staff in healthy ways to manage stress. Workshops include:

  • Standing up to Stress - Diet, Sleep & Exercise
  • Beat Stress and Boost Mental Health
  • Effective Strategies to Enjoy Your Work More
  • Managing Time, Managing Self

Contact us for more information: 09 279-2920 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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