In an office environment, finding time to get out into the sun and fresh air is highly important in terms of health both physical and mental. In fact, we’ve discussed a few times in the past the various benefits a little extra sunlight can bring, as well as the positive effect of plant life on office workers, and there is no better way to gain access to each of these than the provision of outdoor areas within the office environment. Where such spaces are not practical, employees should be trying to get out of the building for a stroll or to sit in the sun during their breaks.

A lack of time outside can have a highly detrimental effect on workers, and a recent study published by outdoor furniture retailer Alfresia.co.uk has highlighted the true scope of the issue, as well as those most affected. The study reveals that those in the financial services industry are most at risk of poor health due to a lack of outdoor exposure, including professions such as banking, accounting, and bookkeeping. The survey of 2,000 UK workers revealed that those in the aforementioned fields spend just 34 minutes per day outdoors, putting them at risk of developing vitamin D deficiencies, among other health concerns.

Following closely behind are healthcare workers (48 minutes), information technology (IT) professionals (52 minutes), retail employees (71 minutes), and hospitality professionals (88 minutes).

Furthermore, 64% of respondents stated that the amount of time they spent outdoors each week had a noticeable effect on their mood an temperament, while 35% acknowledged that time spent outdoors was a deciding factor when it came to applying for jobs.

On the other side of the scale, construction workers were unsurprisingly found to spend the most time outdoors, averaging around 303 minutes per day.

Nic Jones, head of digital at Alfresia.co.uk, said of the survey’s results, “The amount of time we spend outdoors of course varies from industry to industry and role to role, not just due to the nature of the actual work and working environment but also due to the hours worked, clearly those in the financial sector have heavy workloads and the vast majority is desk-based.

“However, it is great to see those in construction enjoy an extended amount of time surrounded by Mother Nature. Those that are not as fortunate to have much time outdoors during their working day should take regular breaks from screens or equipment and make the effort to venture outdoors during their lunch break.

“Workplaces should encourage their staff to embrace the outdoors as much as possible while completing their jobs. Fresh air and sunshine has proven health benefits as well as boosting staff morale.”


Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor in an attempt to expand his horizons.
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