(FREEBIE) As Energizing as a Cup of Coffee: Your Green Nature "Office Break" during a long week at work

When I read how nature can be "as energizing as a cup of coffee" it made me wish that I had known this on stressful work days at the office many years ago!

Instead of a fifteen to twenty minute coffee break, sitting in the cafeteria basement (or worse yet at my desk) sipping on a second or (horrors!) third cup of coffee, trying to ease my way back to being jazzed and better focused to be able to work on ONE. MORE. briefing document, I could have chosen a better option.

I could have chosen a quick trip to a park or a brisk walk under a tree lined street to perk up my frazzled mental state and rouse it for a final push to project completion!  

There was always this inkling that I should have broken up my day behind the desk with some fresh air and some outdoor greenery but it always felt like an "escape" or denial-ism rather than a potential supportive tool for my mental clarity.  If I left the office - was I running away from work completely, I'd wonder?  It felt more like a pushing away - the need to get out of the office, rather than a pulling towards being outdoors and this was before all the studies of "nature is good for your health" became mainstream.

And now even when we KNOW that nature is good for us, it still can be a difficult for many to prioritize, find time or even know where to go or what to do.  Is it really as easy as just getting to a small park or sitting under a tree?  And add to this uncertainty, our inability to easily gauge the full benefit of being outdoors - a study here at Carleton University showed that study participants typically underestimated how they thought they would feel after being in nature - no wonder we don't prioritize nature!

Nature may be calling but it seems that we are not picking up and answering!

As mentioned before in this blog, the average adult spends only 5 - 8 % of their time outdoors (Harvard School of Public Health and NHAPS Study).  Even a recent Canadian study showed low numbers:

The 2017 Coleman Canada Outdoor Report hosted by Angus Reid Forum surveyed approx. 1,500 Canadian adults and found that 64% of us are enjoying the open-air for less than two hours a week (less than 20 minutes a day) and 29% of us, say we spend less than a half hour per week outside. (Toronto Sun)

These stats definitely show that it's time to get outdoors!  There are so many benefits from just stepping outside and it doesn't have to be a long hike or a two-hour forest bathing session.  All the benefits from nature are just outside the door.

So the next time you feel the need to get a coffee for an energy boost or your stress levels seem to be mounting - think about getting outside.  And to get an extra Nature Boost use the Wild. Here. handy PDF tip sheet to elevate your outdoor experience connecting at a deeper and calmer level.


Underestimating Nearby Nature: Affective Forecasting Errors Obscure the Happy Path to Sustainability, (Sage Journals).  Research by Elizabeth K. Nisbet and John M. Zelenski. First Published August 9, 2011.

The National Human Activity Pattern Survey (NHAPS): A Resource for Assessing Exposure to Environmental Pollutants. Research by Neil E. Klepeis and others. Published by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 2001.

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