Join the GET OUTSIDE CHALLENGE (from July 16th to August 31st)
What is it?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average American spends 93% of their life indoors. 87% of that time is spent inside, while the other 6% is spent in automobiles. This means that only 7% of the average American’s life is spent outdoors. This is unfortunate considering that spending time outdoors is one of the easiest ways to improve your overall health and well-being.
Research suggests that spending time outside can function as a natural medicine. It can help improve your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Spending more time outdoors is also linked to a lower risk of early death. Besides helping you live a longer, healthier life, spending time in nature can help you live a happier life, too.
Being a full-time employee can make it difficult to spend time outdoors but even a few five-minute outdoor breaks a day can have a positive impact on your health.
Please join us to commit to at least 3 five-minute outdoor breaks each day!
What are some of the HEALTH BENEFITS of spending time outdoors?
Happiness. Science backs it: spending time outside makes you happy! While researchers still aren’t exactly sure what causes this link between outdoors and happiness, many studies have shown that our moods take a positive shift when we spend time outside. Research also suggests that spending in nature can also fight reduce the risk of developing depression and anxiety – and even help improve symptoms.
Improved memory. Studies have found that spending time in nature can help improve memory functions – especially short-term memory. Research from the University of Michigan found that walking in a park or even viewing pictures of nature helped improve both memory and attention span.
Stress relief. Spending time outside has been shown to lower stress levels and has similar effects on your brain and body as that of meditating. Although the exact science behind it is unclear, being in a natural setting shows evidence of lower stress levels through a lower heart rate and lower blood pressure.
Reduced inflammation. Spending more time outside could help naturally reduce pain! A 2012 study found that students who were asked to spend time forest bathing had lower levels of inflammation than their counterparts who spent time in the city.
Energy boost. According to research from the University of Rochester, 90% of people experience increased energy just by participating in outdoor activities. This boost of sudden energy can help inspire you to be more active, too!
Better brain function. Research has shown that spending more time outdoors is linked to higher levels of concentration, creativity, and improved mental clarity. All of these perks lead to better work performance!
What are some simple tips to spend more time outdoors?
- Work outside while working from home
- Read on your porch or deck
- Do daily activities outside (cutting coupons, checking your email, making phone calls)
- Start a garden in your backyard (extra health points for the fresh produce!)
- Go for a daily morning walk
- Eat dinner outside when weather permits
- Pick-up an outdoor hobby (photography, hiking, biking, outdoor yoga)
- Take your kids to the park after dinner
- Become a dog walker (you’ll even make some extra cash!)
- Take your lunch break outside
- Start a walking club at work
- Plan at least one outdoor activity each weekend