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How to encourage better employee wellbeing through nature

At its simplest, mental health is all about how well-equipped we are to manage our psychological and emotional wellbeing. Although it’s easier for some than others, keeping on top of our mental health and wellbeing is important to us all.

For Mental Health Awareness Week we’re looking at how you can use the power of nature to help boost your employees’ mental health. Over the last 12 months, nature has played a more important role in our lives than ever. With Covid-19 restrictions, getting out into nature has been one of the few activities we could enjoy throughout it all. Through this, many of us have discovered a newfound appreciation of nature and the great outdoors, but can the healing forces of nature be extended to the workplace? Yes they can.

Keep reading to find out how.

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Take advantage of your surroundings

We talk about “needing a bit of fresh air” and “clearing our minds” with a walk or a bit of time outside. There’s real science as to why that works to calm and recentre us when needed. Just 120 minutes a week in nature has been shown to have a noticeable increase in improving peoples’ mood[1]. You don’t need to do all 120 minutes at once – you can spread it across smaller sessions throughout the week. You can do 20 minutes here and 40 minutes there, so long as it all adds up to at least 120 minutes a week.

If you have greenspace nearby, why not encourage your employees to get out and about during their breaks? You could even try starting an employee walking club during lunch hours or hold ‘walking meetings’. A recent study revealed that an hourly walk each day reduced depression by around 26%[2].

 

Bring the outdoors in

If you don’t have access to greenspace, or your employees tend to stay on-site throughout the day, don’t worry. Try bringing the outdoors in to them. Introducing nature to the workplace, such as having indoor plants near employee workstations and throughout the building, has a noticeably positive impact on employee mental health. In fact, plant-powered workplaces reported increases in employee productivity, attention span and reaction speed as well as reduced stress levels and improvements to their overall mood[3].

 

Make employee wellbeing a Breeze

Outside of work, you can continue to support employee wellbeing through our easy-to-use app, Breeze. Breeze gives your workforce direct access to doctors, physios, counsellors, health assessments and so much more. Healthy Bites contains expert content to support your employees’ mental wellbeing. The next time the sun’s out why not head outside and join in with the guided yoga sessions within the app.

 

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Sources:

[1] Science Daily, 2019

[2] HelpGuide, 2020

[3] RHS, 2021

Breeze: This non-insurance product is provided by Health Shield Friendly Society Limited.