Why Outside Activities Can Be Essential for Employees’ Well-Being

Mar 19, 2024

With the recent movement of our clocks in most American states*, the days will be longer. The weather will be getting warmer, and more people will venture outside to experience the sunshine and nature. The start of spring often brings energy and enthusiasm for going outside to breathe in the fresh air and to participate in outdoor activities. Because Americans who work full-time spend nearly 8 hours a day at their worksite, employers are in a unique position to promote physical activity and potentially affect the health and well-being of millions of working adults. This article suggests that in addition to improving physical and mental health, getting out into nature can also foster social connections (enhancing feelings of belonging and contribute to emotional well-being) as well as provide a vital connection to the natural world (reminding us of our place within the broader ecosystem). The article offers several ways organizations can seamlessly integrate nature walks into their wellness initiatives. A second article suggests that employers can help improve the health of their employees and create healthier communities by promoting physical activity in your workplace and surrounding community. The article discusses the benefits of doing so and points us to ways some employers are using effective strategies to increase physical activity in their worksites and communities. We are encouraged to read about their efforts to get ideas for our own workplaces.

As employers consider options, you should remember to prioritize flexibility and inclusivity. For assorted reasons (i.e., mobility concerns, allergies, etc.), not all employees will be able to participate in outside walks or other physical activities. Keep in mind that you don’t have to be a senior citizen to have mobility concerns. Therefore, employers should offer alternatives that allow people of all ability levels to participate in whatever they are most comfortable in, without drawing unwarranted attention to those who cannot or do not wish to participate. A third article suggests outdoor activities for those with limited mobility considerations. It is also important for employers to remind all employees to pay attention to their bodies and their mental health ─ emphasizing that there will be no judgment for nonparticipation or for doing what is needed for employees to take care of themselves. If employers encourage their employees to take breaks and connect with nature in a variety of ways, you’ can promote a healthier and happier workplace and community.

*NOTE: There are two states and several territories that do not observe daylight saving time. See this brief article for a list.

This blog post was originally posted in Library Worklife and was reposted with permission.

If you have a question about this or any other article, please contact us at statelibrary@wyo.gov

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