While 2020 has proven that we don’t have to head to an office to get our work done, many of us still find ourselves spending much of our time indoors. Although society has been working remotely for most of this year, we’ve still been stuck inside due to many factors, such as sheltering in place, or maintaining a reliable wifi connection.
But with physical and mental health top of mind, it’s more important than ever to spend time outdoors. If you’re located somewhere that is getting too cold to spend extended time outside, don’t worry - even small amounts of time can make a major difference.
The benefits of taking a break, and moving things outside are undoubtable. Numerous studies show that spending time in green spaces improves mood, reduces the risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, stress, and high blood pressure (1). Green spaces include open, undeveloped land with natural vegetation, as well as urban parks and street greenery (2).
Research also shows that spending time outdoors helps boost energy. According to one study, spending 20 minutes in the open air gives your brain an energy boost comparable to a cup of coffee (3).
Natural light has been shown to alleviate pain, and breathing in phytoncides - airborne chemicals produced by plants - increases our levels of white blood cells, naturally boosting our immune system (4).
You don’t have to spend hours outside to reap the rewards of a little fresh air. We suggest taking a 15 minute walk around the block, heading out for a jog to the park and back, or even sitting on your patio and taking a few long, deep breaths.
Any little bit helps, and your body will thank you! So go ahead - take a break, and head outside.