Green spaces help mental health

February 14, 2020

New research shows that those who make weekly visits to green spaces report having better mental and physical health.

Therefore, providing a green outside space for employees could lead to positive health benefits.

The study, Nature contact, nature connectedness and associations with health, well-being and pro-environmental behaviours, also found that people are more likely to behave in environmentally friendly ways when they feel connected to nature – such as recycling and conservation activities.

Researchers at the University of Plymouth, Natural England, the University of Exeter and the University of Derby carried out the study, published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology,

It’s time therefore, to encourage your staff to take advantage of your businesses outdoor space and to connect with nature.

Where grounds are expansive, why not promote taking a walk through the landscape or simply sitting and listening to the sounds of nature – running water, birds chirping or the wind in the trees.

The creation of an outdoor meeting space or planting a biodiversity garden to attract wildlife and add colour to the area could entice staff to embrace the nature while at work.

While many workplaces have limited outdoor space, that need not be a barrier.

The addition of exterior planters or window boxes can help staff connect with greenery in the urban environment.

Lunch time is the ideal opportunity for team members to step away from their desk and reconnect with nature and by providing external seating in green areas or furniture with built in planters, can encourage staff to dine alfresco – assuming the sun decides to make an appearance.

While the maintenance of commercial exterior grounds is an important aspect of the image projected by a business, this latest research demonstrates that companies have much more to gain from developing green spaces in and around their offices.