The Benefits of Working Outdoors (And Why It’s Better Than A Desk Job)
If you’re like the average American, you spend 90 percent of their your time indoors. Furthermore, Americans spend a significant portion of their day sitting. According to Business Insider, 86% of American workers sit all day at their jobs.
Studies show, however, that your indoors desk job can have many many serious health consequences, including a 40% increased risk of death.
The reason? Human beings are not made to be locked inside a cubicle all day. We are biologically built to move around and get in touch with the outdoors. Our bodies need to experience changes in air, temperature, and scenery to interrupt the stagnant office environment.
Most construction work, as we know, takes place outdoors. While it is hard work, studies have shown a wide range of benefits when you work among trees, fresh air, and sunlight, including increased creativity, productivity, and positivity. This explains why we often feel at peace when gazing at scenic landscapes and greenery. Companies like Google have realized this and incorporated nature into their office environments to improve their employees’ performance.
However, many jobs, including those in construction, take place at a desk. To show the benefits of bringing your desk outside, we created an infographic that covers the dangers of a desk job and the science-backed benefits of working outdoors.
Considering all the benefits, why aren’t we working outside more often? An L.L. Bean study found that while 87% of indoor Americans enjoy the outdoors, 65% felt that their job was the biggest barrier. Even your job doesn’t lead itself to be outdoors, there are still you can still reap the benefits of working outside.
First, you can set up an outdoor workspace. Make sure you are close to a wi-fi access point or having cell phone data tethering turned on. A portable charger will keep the juice on your devices, while shade and an anti-glare screen will allow you to minimize the brightness of the sun and still enjoy the benefits of fresh air, greenery, and ambient light.
Even if you work in a highly urban environment and need to stay stationed at your desk, you can start doing smaller science-backed activities like daily exercises, eating lunch outside, growing your own indoor planets, and working with a window that has a view of nature. A walking team meeting could help provide a creativity and morale boost.
Nature has a powerful effect on us, whether we are walking leisurely and doing difficult manual work. Science shows that an outdoor job can provide us with more energy, enhance our mood, and improve our well-being. Not only is it good for our health, but also ultimately good for business.
Journal of Environmental Psychology | Journal of the National Cancer Institute | Paris School of Economics | EPA | Medical Daily | Stanford University | Building and Environment | Cell | Science Daily | News Medical | USDA | Nihon Eiseigaku Zasshi | Mental Floss | Slate | Forbes