Have you ever closed the front door behind you today? Research has shown that a daily walk in the park near you is the best thing you can do for your working day. Especially on days when you are so busy that it is difficult to take a break. The survey of 6,000 Japanese workers between the ages of 20 and 60 shows that walking in nature is the solution to deal with work stress.
The employees who visit the greenery every day during a walk were found to recognize their stress better and to feel more able to manage this stress.
Walk in nature at least once a week
Not everyone has a forest around the corner, but the researchers at the University of Tsukuba in Japan found that at least once a week people visit nature a better ‘sence of coherence‘ gives. Literally translated, this means ‘sense of cohesion’, but in psychology it means ‘psychological resilience’.
This psychological resilience consists of three parts. Meaning (finding meaning in life), comprehensibility (recognizing and understanding stress) and manageability (feeling capable of dealing with stress). People with strong sence of coherence are therefore more resistant to stress.
The good news is that a daily walk in a park, forest or other green environment is very accessible. “Walking in the green is a simple activity that does not require any special equipment or training,” said Professor Shinichiro Sasahara, the lead investigator, in a press release. “It can be a very good practice to improve mental health and manage work stress.”
Walking has even more benefits
Previous research has already shown that nature has a calming effect on people, and that walking is good for your mood. It is therefore very plausible that combining the two is extremely good for mental health. Visiting a park in the area more often can ensure that you can handle your work stress better.
That’s not the only benefit of stretching your legs before, during or after your workday. Walking lowers your sugar level, improves your blood circulation, ensures better fat burning and is good for your memory.
Especially now that most people are obliged to work from home, a daily walk is more necessary than ever. A recent Irish survey shows that on average we sit even more than during our old working days. Partly because we miss our travel time and have to take fewer steps to the coffee machine. That is dangerous if you know that we used to sit too much. The risk of diseases such as diabetes, obesity, cancer and heart disease is significantly increased if you sit a lot.
Enough reasons to make nature walks a regular part of your working day!
Also read: All ‘obliged’ to walk during the working day: ‘Without feeling guilty’
Tessa Ham is an editor at WorkJuice.nl and writes for Metro about career and money.
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