Green Exercise: The Workplace Stress Buster

For past 20 years, exercising in the workplace has been one of the go-to methods for reducing stress at work. So much so that almost every contemporary workspace has a set gymnasium available for this purpose alone. This is all to get the endorphins running and keep us in good shape even if the job can get stressful.

Recently, there has been a new advent in exercise called, Green Exercise. 

What is Green Exercise you ask? It is simply exercising while being exposed to nature. A pilot study conducted in 2014 refers to Green Exercise as the “synergistic benefit in adopting physical activities whilst at the same time being directly exposed to nature.” In this study they gathered 14 individuals and had them exercise in an office set-up or indoor gymnasium versus an outdoor workout regimen. They measured cortisol levels (levels that can determine the amount of stress in the body), restoration, blood pressure and affective state (also known as their feelings or their mood). 

The results came back with the group that exercised in nature having more improved moods, an overall more positive affect, lesser cortisol levels (meaning, lesser stress) and better diastolic pressure (rate at which the heart beats). 

They concluded that Green Exercise at the workplace could be a profitable way to manage stress and induce restoration among employees.

In 2019 a systematic review on the effects of Green Exercise on physical and mental wellbeing, studies found that Green Exercise helps in alleviating ones mood, is proven to successfully lower cortisol levels, it helps maintain work-out motivation, it aids in post-work out attention or focus. 

Have we convinced you enough?

If we have, here are some tips and tricks you can do to start getting into Green Exercise while at home or during your spare time.

Commit 25 minutes walking in nature in your schedule.

Various health and wellness sources state that all you need to keep active is to have 25 active minutes per day. So, the commute to work or a simple brisk walk to the nearby mini mart would be a more beneficial one if you took the more scenic route. During lunch break, if you are lucky enough to be near a park, take a walk there and have your lunch with a co-worker. Whatever you do, do not forget to get that extra 25 minutes of fresh air and nature.

Add some plants and greens to your workplace or workout area.

If you cannot go to nature, bring nature to you! Line your workout space with potted greens to help simulate the experience of Green Exercise. 

Listen to sounds of nature while meditating.

Studies show that even listening to nature is enough to help bring cortisol levels down. So, in your next meditation session after a tough work out, have the sound of the ocean queued up and let it do its magic.

Schedule a hike with teammates outdoors

Taking the whole team to a hike is the best way to relieve stress and find ways to bond. Having the common goal of reaching the peak enables everyone to work together and have a sense of solidarity. 

Participate in active outdoor events.

The organization should be able to provide team members outdoor events whenever necessary to help with the engagement of the company and with a cumulative effort in depleting stress levels through nature. On your own, you can do activities that entail outdoor settings such as swimming, trekking or simply walking about in nature.

At Rocket Station, we place value in the health and wellness of each teammate and seek to empower them to lead a healthy lifestyle. This April, join our community by signing up in our newsletter to read more interesting articles about health and wellness and how it can help you at work.

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