Why do we need to take breaks outdoors?

Alex | January 24, 2022

As life continues to return to normal, many of us are being encouraged to head back to the office. There are lots of benefits to working in the office. Firstly, offices are designed to be highly optimised workspaces. They’re more functional than working at your kitchen table or your makeshift home office. Face to face meetings tend to flow better than video calls. Being in the office can also help to establish and strengthen contacts that have the scope to grow businesses.

Get outside

However, with the return to the office, it’s important to manage stress levels. It’s important to ensure everyone maintains a healthy work-life balance. After all, a happy workplace is a productive one. A simple but very effective way of improving health and wellbeing at work is to make sure we spend enough time outdoors. There are lots of reasons why the outdoors can be a mood booster and stress reliever. We take a look at how and why office workers should all regularly get out into nature.

Oxygen boost benefits

Being outside and breathing in fresh air is great for overall health and wellbeing. More oxygen in your system results in greater brain function, an increase in the happy hormone, serotonin and it can also support the immune system. So why not grab a coffee to go and head outside in the fresh air for a quick walk, a sit down with a friend or colleague (weather permitting!) or a phone call?

Vitamin D health

Vitamin D is dubbed as the ‘sunshine vitamin’ because the sun is one of the best sources to get it. It’s an important nutrient that helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. These nutrients are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy.

The National Diet and Nutrition Survey show that around 1 in 6 adults in the UK have low levels of vitamin D. The Government actually advises everyone to take daily vitamin D supplements from October through until March.

Vitamin D can also be consumed via your diet so you can also supplement with food like mushrooms, eggs and oily fish. However, the best way to boost your vitamin D intake is to get outdoors in the sunshine.

Stress management

A certain amount of stress is normal and can’t completely be avoided in the modern world. There are always going to be challenges at work and we know office life can feel pressured at times. And that’s why it’s so important to manage stress.

Practising breathing exercises can help but another proven stress reliever is to get outside in nature. A study from the University of Michigan found that taking just 20 minutes to walk or sit in nature significantly lowers the stress hormone, cortisol, levels.

If you have an hour for lunch, a 20-minute walk outdoors is perfectly achievable. Or take a short coffee break when you’re able to and you’ll come back to the office feeling refreshed, ready to take on your next challenge.

Bring the outdoors in

If you struggle to get outside in nature for whatever reason, you can always bring the outside in. Having plants in the office can boost creativity, productivity and improve mental health. They also help to clean indoor air by absorbing toxins, increasing humidity and producing oxygen to support your physical health. Take a look at our top 5 office plants to brighten up your workspace.

Get in touch

If you’re thinking of getting an office coffee machine that can help to support workplace culture and the health, hydration and happiness of your office, get in touch. Not sure if you need an office coffee machine? Check out our blog.