Take 5…

It's amazing!  A recent study by the University of Essex found that just a five minutes of nature, now called “green exercise”, every day, will benefit people's mood, self-esteem and mental health.

Five minutes!  You don't even have to break a sweat!  So…

  • Put down your smart phone.
  • Push away from your desk.
  • Escape from the building!
  • Go breathe.

Hitting the “pause button” has powerful effects on your stress level and productivity. Leadership guru, Dr. Steven Covey, recognized this decades ago, with his prescription to “Sharpen the Saw”.  If you haven't heard it, Steven Covey tells the story of the competition of between woodcutters, where one woodcutter worked non-stop to try to win.  When he paused just for a second, to listen for the competition, he often would not hear a sound.  Motivated that his non-stop work ethic, would win the race, he worked even harder.  At the end of the competition, it actually was the OTHER woodcutter that won.  Perplexed the hardworker asked how this was possible.  The winner replied, “I took time to sharpen my saw”.

The great news today is that the Essex University study is the first of its kind that actually quantifies the health benefits, in terms of the “best dose” of nature.  Five minutes is optimal way to de-stress and re-connect with your best self.

The research by Dr Jo Barton and Professor Jules Pretty is published online (and in print on 15 May) in the American journal, Environmental Science and Technology.

‘A walk a day should help to keep the doctor away – and help to save the country money,’ said Dr Barton. ‘There is a large potential benefit to individuals, society and to the costs of the health service if all groups of people were to ‘self-medicate’ more with green exercise.’  Their research shows that although all natural environments were beneficial (including urban green), the presence of water provides even greater effects. A blue and green environment seems even better for health, the authors stated.

Think about it.  Americans spend over 90% of their lives inside buildings. And, when we do go outside, it is usually to get us to another building!  Crazy, huh?

Let's call this Project No Leader Left Inside! Taking care of yourself just doesn't get any easier than a five minute outdoor break…every day!

Which way to the beach?

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