Beauty / Health

5 health reasons to go outdoors on your lunch break

health benefits outdoors

There are many things that will define 2020. Long stretches of time inside is one of them.

It began as (and in places like Melbourne still is) a requirement. But when you repeat an action long enough, habits form. Many of us have become comfortable in our homes, more at ease with spending time alone. It's so simple to move from sleep, to work, to workout, to play all in the one place. There are so many chores to fill a lunch break on a work-from-home schedule. So many ways to feel productive without need to move far.

But there are serious health benefits to be gained from going outdoors - even for a short interval.

Recent research suggest that spending even 20 minutes in a park, for example, (even if you don't exercise) is enough to improve general wellbeing. So there's no need to put excess pressure on yourself.

If you're in need of motivation to get out of an indoors slump (I know I am sometimes) we've compiled a some further reasons to get outside on your lunch break below.

 

Going outdoors is the easiest way to get vitamin D

Even limited sun exposure increases Vitamin D, which is linked to improving mental health and happiness. And fighting disease - like osteoporosis, colds and flus.

 

You'll feel more focused

Studies have linked time spent outdoors to improved concentration, better short term memory and reduced brain fog. Meaning taking a break = equals better output if you're working.

 

You'll get incidental exercise

The kind you used to get running for the bus or taking multiple coffee runs with your colleagues. Simply by virtue of not being sat in front of your laptop. If your intention is to work out, research suggests that doing it outside can be motivating - and will actually feel easier than doing it indoors.

 

Going outside could help you feel inspired

We know intuitively that a change of scene can invoke creativity. That also applies to your brain's ability to creatively problem solve - particularly when the scenery is nature. One study found that people immersed in nature for four days increased their performance on a creative problem-solving tests by 50 per cent.

 

You'll have an opportunity to 'motor' through stress

You won't need a car. This actually relates to walking. When we move our bodies, our mental processes are given opportunity to do the same. According to psychologist Scott Lyons, "It’s an intentional practice excavating energy and moving energy through. That’s psychic, emotional energy that we’re talking about."

 


Image: photography by Alexandra Nataf for RUSSH Issue 72.