One of the benefits of working from a coworking space that often goes unmentioned is the ability to work outdoors at the facility. At Work/Place’s Oyster Point location, we offer a spacious, shaded patio with tables and chairs which allow you to enjoy working under a canopy of green trees while enjoying the sunshine in the blue sky.
While that may not seem like a huge benefit, considering you get all the same great amenities Work/Place offers while you’re there, working from outside also has a lot of great health benefits that can not only improve your health but make your workday more pleasant.
Here are a few ways working outdoors can improve your work and your health:
It’s a mood booster.
According to research by the American Psychological Association, exposure to natural green spaces and natural environments can “improve working memory, cognitive flexibility, and attentional control.” While most people spend their workday indoors in front of a screen for up to eight or more hours a day, working outdoors can dramatically improve how you feel as you work. Being in nature decreases anxiety and stress. Those working outdoors see an improved mental focus and better productivity as well. The study concluded by stating that “feeling connected to nature can produce [cognitive and emotional] benefits to well-being, regardless of how much time one spends outdoors.”
It reduces stress.
If you’ve ever felt unprepared for a hard deadline or were later getting to your online meeting, you may have felt a rush from hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Those hormones tell your body that it’s in danger and the stress release results in elevated blood pressure. On the flip side, if you’ve ever sat on a park bench with a good book, or enjoyed the warmth of the sun from a beach chair, that calming feeling you experienced comes from the hormone serotonin.
Working outdoors in green surroundings can benefit your health by reducing blood pressure, lowering your heart rate, and bringing down cortisol levels, even on those stressful days.
It strengthens your immune system.
One lesson from the pandemic is that having a healthy immune system can help your body fight against infection and disease. Working outdoors gives you direct exposure to the sun, which is a significant source of vitamin D. When absorbed through the sun, vitamin D can offer you levels of protection against depression. As few as 20 to 30 minutes of working in the sunshine can give our body enough benefit for the entire day. Other benefits include stress relief, better blood pressure, lower depression, elevated mood, and increased brain function.
It’s good for posture.
One of the latest health and wellness slogans is that sitting is the new smoking. Spending all day in an office chair can have a long-term adverse effect on your back and spine. Sitting all day in a chair can cause harm to muscles, like hip flexors, making your lower body feel tight and immobile. Studies also link daylong sitting to increased disease risk and 40% chance of premature death. Working in nature takes you away from the chair and forces the muscles in your core to better support you as you sit.
As you can see, taking your laptop outdoors for a few hours or an entire day can be a boon not only to your personal health but to your overall workday. A few other benefits to working outdoors include higher creativity and a general feeling of inspiration, and increased energy.