There’s something extraordinary that happens to us when we enter or are surrounded by a natural space – whether that’s an expansive meadow, a garden, a park, a bluff looking over the ocean, a beautifully designed green space amidst office buildings or at the heart of a resort property. It’s almost primeval. A reaction deeply embedded in our DNA. We soon find ourselves relaxed and at peace. The fragrance of trees and flowers, the sunlight dappling through branches, the songs of birds, a glimpse of two squirrels chasing each other around a tree, or the sound of water trickling over stones — all somehow seem to refresh and renew our souls.
There are actual, tangible health benefits to natural spaces – whether you’re walking, hiking, having your lunch, or merely lounging and enjoying the view. One of the more immediate physical effects is the lowering of blood pressure. If you’re in a stressful job and sitting in a maze of cubicles and under deadlines, then an occasional break in a natural space is just what the doctor ordered. What better and more soothing way to calm that roiling storm of tasks, ideas, and worries all crowding for attention in your brain than to reconnect with nature and meld into its less-hectic pace and serenity. A natural space often gives you a moment to reflect on what’s really important in life — your health, your family, your loved ones and the reason you may be working as hard as you do. If you manage a team of workers and have access to green space, then what better venue to use from time to time to get away from the visual and auditory distractions and constant interruptions in the office. From Hotel Nia’s flexible indoor/outdoor courtyard spaces available for meetings and events to parks in between office buildings, developers are taking notice and we’ve seen an increase in interior gardens and outside creative work environs.
If you manage a team of employees, you may want to encourage them to get outside and avail themselves of the green spaces near your office from time to time. It’s much healthier than sitting in a cubicle all day — better for their blood circulation, better for their stress level and generally better for them to be more mobile. You’ll no doubt find that many on your team who take advantage of these green spaces will perform better, have improved moods, and will be more productive and even more creative in their work.
Planned green spaces in office parks or other more urban settings are also enticing for exercise — running, walking, bike riding, and hiking; and depending on the space, volleyball, basketball, and tennis. All activities that are good for alleviating stress, good for the heart, and if done on a regular basis, great for controlling or losing weight which may be critical for those who are overweight and at risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.
For those who don’t get out as much as they’d like or for those days when the weather may not permit enjoying a natural space, studies have shown that even just a view from an office window out to a natural space still results in alleviating stress and enhance feelings of well-being. So, if you’re current workplace doesn’t have a natural green space, where your employees or your guests can relax or exercise or just stroll, smell the flowers, enjoy the shade of trees, or the sound of running water, you may want to consider adding a green space — it’s one of the healthiest things you can do.
Wolf, Kathleen L. (2019, April 3). The health benefits of small parks and green spaces. Retrieved from https://www.nrpa.org/parks-recreation-magazine/2017/april/the-health-benefits-of-small-parks-and-green-spaces/.
Netburn, Deborah (2018, Jan. 16) In the city, nature can be a balm. Retrieved from