There’s a growing body of scientific evidence that proves that your office just may be killing you slowly.
Let’s take the modern workday pose—fingers on keyboard, slight slouch, glassy eyes fixed on glowing screen, bathed in unnatural light. If that sounds like you, then take note. According to a learned few out there, this position can, “drain your vitality, happiness and creativity. Designed to maximize efficiency, this sterile setup actually reduces productivity and job satisfaction.” In short, your workspace just might be bad for your health and overall well-being.
Employees today spend about 9.3 hours a day sitting at their desks. According to the medical journal, The Lancet, this unprecedented level of inactivity is causing 5.3 million deaths a year worldwide, similar to smoking—prompting the Harvard Business Review to suggest that, “Sitting is the smoking of our generation.”
Fortunately, being outdoors is still a healthy choice for most workers as a natural setting can indeed reduce stress while boosting immunity, ingenuity and energy. According to neuroscientist, Marc Berman‘s research, even simple, brief interactions with nature can improve cognitive control and mood.
So how do we fit more green time into our crazy, hectic schedules? A few small changes are all it takes. For instance, hold your next meeting outdoors—maybe make it a walking meeting. Invite colleagues to have lunch in a nearby park. Take the scenic route home and go for a walk in a neighborhood green space along the way. Stop to smell the flowers and take notice of critters, trees and plants. Skip the gym, and head outside for a jog or bike ride.
See, it’s that easy. And fun. And lifesaving!