Today, the majority of professionals spend their days indoors, whether that’s in an office, a factory or even a school. However, research shows that increasing time outdoors not only improves our general well-being but also boosts mental health by improving our stress levels, alleviating depression and lowering anxiety.
In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in our own little bubble and forget about the natural world around us. Thankfully, this is something we can easily change at Garden Club London by creating spectacular outdoor work spaces in the workplace that allow professionals to maximise their productivity and lower their stress levels.
Enjoying the great outdoors makes us feel happier.
There’s a reason why nature is described as being therapeutic – spending time in the great outdoors makes us feel happier. This doesn’t just apply to occasional visits to the park (although that can be beneficial – read more below!). Research has shown that the longer we spend in natural environments, the happier we become. The reason for this is that nature is a complex environment that stimulates us in many different ways. It offers us a wide variety of scents and sounds, as well as a visual experience that is hard to replicate in indoor spaces. When we are surrounded by nature, our bodies release a hormone called serotonin, commonly referred to as the “happy hormone”. This releases endorphins, which are chemicals that make us feel happy, relaxed and less stressed. Whilst indoors, we aren’t exposed to these same triggers, which is why being outdoors can make us feel happier overall.
Spending time in nature reduces stress and anxiety.
When we are stressed, our bodies secrete a hormone called cortisol, which is used to help us deal with the situation by raising our heart rate and increasing blood flow. However, when cortisol is present in large quantities, it can have a negative impact on our health. It can lead to feelings of anxiety, mood swings, a lack of focus, headaches and much more. Whilst indoors, we are forced to deal with our high-stress environments. This means that we are constantly surrounded by cortisol, which can have long-term implications on our health. However, when we spend time in nature, our stress levels drop because we have no need for cortisol. When we are outside, we are exposed to a plethora of scents and sounds that act as stress relievers. This makes it easier to relax and de-stress, so natural spaces can help prevent stress and anxiety. This is particularly important in a work space, as lowering stress and anxiety can increase productivity and limit time away from work due to mental health issues.
Outdoor workspace can help fight depression.
It is estimated that around 350 million people suffer from depression, with around 10% of the population diagnosed at some point in their lives. When we are depressed, many of us will find it difficult to get out of bed, let alone enjoy our daily lives and careers. However, studies have shown that spending time in nature can help fight depression by helping to boost our serotonin levels. When we are in an outdoor natural space, our body is flooded with serotonin which can help to alleviate depressive symptoms, increasing productivity.
Breathing in fresh air can promote better breathing habits.
Many of us don’t take enough time to really focus on our breathing habits. This can cause us to unknowingly adopt bad breathing habits such as over-breathing, which can lead to a variety of physical complications such as high blood pressure and headaches. When we are indoors, we often overlook our breathing patterns. There is so much going on around us that it’s hard to focus on our breathing. This is why many people have the bad habit of over-breathing, even when they are not aware of it. However, when we spend time outdoors, we are encouraged to slow down and focus on our breathing. This is because we are surrounded by fresh air, which helps us to adopt healthier breathing habits, so we slow down our fast paced lives to enjoy the beautiful landscapes around us.
Overall, the mental health benefits of outdoor workspaces are undeniable – something which we’re very conscious of at Garden Club London. Not only do they help to boost our mood and reduce our levels of stress and anxiety, they also encourage us to improve our breathing habits – all of which makes them an essential part of any modern office design.