Increasing nature contact during workdays decreases employee stress levels and promotes a healthy workplace. Researches indicate that as workday nature contact increase, perceived stress and generalized health complaints decrease. Thus, increasing nature contact at work may offer a simple population-based approach to enhance workplace health promotion efforts.

According to a study (Largo-White et. al. 2011) there was a significant, negative association between nature contact and stress and nature contact and general health complaints. To date, work or office findings suggest that nature contact may be achieved by adding indoor office plants (live or artificial), natural lighting, sounds of nature, nature-related images, and outdoor window views. In addition, outdoor breaks and lunch were related to less stress.


Why does nature contact then promote health? Biological researchers point to an evolutionary explanation for this phenomenon: natural elements are calming for people today because of the linkage to survival in the past. Throughout human existence, human biology has been embedded in the natural environment. Those who could smell the water, find the plants, follow the animals, and recognize the safe havens must have enjoyed survival advantages.

Accordingly, psychological researchers have studied the brain and stress response after exposure to nature contact and suggest that environments with natural elements either (1) restore stress-fatigued cognitive resources to enhance coping abilities or (2) stimulate underutilized portions of the “old” brain, which balance the concentrated stimulation and relieve exhausted portions of the brain to reduce stress. Consequently, nature contact reduces stress.

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