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6 benefits of unchaining yourself from your desk to take a break outside

Don’t compromise your health. Go out of the office every once in awhile.
By Jacqueline Whitmore |



Working in a stuffy, artificially-lighted office all day can make you tired and cranky but there is a cure, and it’s as close as the nearest door. Take your work outside. Being out in nature does your body, mind, and soul some good.


Whether it’s a bench in a nearby courtyard, a table at a sidewalk café, or a lawn chair in your own backyard, the world is full of outdoor places where you can brainstorm, daydream, or create a personal workspace.   .



Here are some other ways that working outdoors can contribute to your overall health and well-being.


1. Soak up some sunshine.

The typical office environment can be stress-inducing. Get outside and soak up some vitamin D, one of the fat-soluble vitamins essential to strong bones and a healthy immune system. While much debate exists around the guidelines, some researchers suggest that five to 30 minutes of sun exposure between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. at least twice a week is sufficient for vitamin D synthesis. Of course, this recommendation also comes with a caveat you already know. Always wear sunscreen when possible.



2. Take a stroll around the block.

No matter how ergonomically-optimized your workstation is, sitting stationary in an office swivel chair for hours on end doesn't enhance your posture. Get out of your seat and onto your feet. When you choose to take a walk, it does your body good. One way to get some daily low-impact exercise is to take meetings outside and walk with your co-workers or colleagues.



Related: Why you should take your work outdoors


outdoor meeting

3. Commune with nature.

When you feel tired at work, your first thought may be to pour yourself another cup of coffee. But a caffeine jolt is just a short-term fix that can come with a crash. Rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit the natural, healthy way by getting outside and into nature. 




4. Breathe in the fresh air.

The California Air Resources Board estimates that on average, indoor air pollution is 25 to 62% higher than outdoor pollutant levels. So if you find it more difficult to breathe when you’re at work, it might be more than just heavy job responsibilities weighing on your chest. Your lungs may actually be doing overtime duty trying to filter double the amount of particulate matter floating around. Get outdoors and exercise your lungs so you can breathe easier and feel better.


Related: Why you should encourage your team to take even decaf coffee breaks


5. Look on the bright side.

Lack of adequate exposure to natural sunlight can cause Vitamin D deficiency, depression, sleep disorders and weight gain. Workers in windowless offices can suffer year-round light deprivation by spending too much time indoors. When the weather is pleasant, take your lunch break in a nearby park.




6. Cultivate your creativity.

Steve Jobs, the late co-founder of Apple, was known for his walking meetings. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has also been seen holding meetings on foot. Perhaps you’ve paced back and forth on occasion to drum up ideas. Stanford researchers found that walking, indoors or outdoors, boosts creative inspiration.


Related: Exercise Isn't just good for you. Your startup's success may depend on It.



Copyright 2015 Entrepreneur Media, Inc. All rights reserved.
This article originally appeared on Minor edits have been done by the editor.


Photos from (AdamR and Photostock)

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