Get Outside the Box
Thinking outside the box is not a new idea, but there might be a better way to get there and that is by actually going outside. Call it, “Nature Deficit Syndrome,” or an epidemic of inactivity, but many of us are spending too much time inside, staring at a screen and it is not good for our health, or our productivity.
Here are 5 reasons getting outside can be good for you at work and beyond:
- Get that Vitamin D – Sunlight is a natural source of Vitamin D and an increasing number of adults are Vitamin D deficient. According to WebMD, Vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment and cancer, as well as loss of bone density and increased risk of diabetes.
- Get Moving – Going outside encourages us to move around. Go for a walk or hike or spend time working in your yard. Do you normally go to a gym to workout, shoot hoops or play tennis? Go to your local park and try it outside.
- It’s good for your eyes – In our mostly seated culture, we tend to focus our eyes directly in front of us when looking at a computer screen, television or paperwork. When you go outside, your pupils contract when looking at various distances. Simply by walking around outdoors, your eyes have a chance to both focus on the ground in front of you and the landscape around you, which is great exercise for TV and monitor over-stimulated eyes.
- Better mental clarity, longer attention span – Researchers Marc Berman, John Jonides and Stephen Kaplan found memory performance and attention spans improved by 20 percent after people spent an hour interacting with nature. They also believe the findings could have a broader impact on helping people who may be suffering from mental fatigue. (study here)
- Get a fresh perspective – going outside changes the scene and you may find solutions to problems by resetting your brain in a new context. Going outside also encourages you to be more creative and independent.
The weather is better and the days are getting longer. Find ways to get outside during the day by walking to lunch, eating outside, or enjoying your morning coffee in the sunshine.