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Why savvy businesses are bringing the outdoors in

Think about the last time you stepped outside. How did it make you feel? Energised? Or, perhaps, calmer? 
 
Well, you're not alone. Humans and nature are intrinsically connected, according to American biologist, theorist and naturalist E.O. Wilson, we naturally have a "love of life or living systems", otherwise known as biophilia. 
 
However, with various studies concluding we spend as much as 90 per cent of our time indoors, that connection can be lost. With many of us putting in working weeks of 40 hours or more, that's a lot of time spent sat behind office desks - removed from nature. 
 
Spending time outdoors is a proven mood booster - When humans and nature are allowed to connect, studies demonstrate significant real-world benefits. For example, spending time outdoors is a proven mood booster. As well as reducing the onset of anxiety and depression, research indicates being outdoors can improve symptoms in those already affected. 
 
It can increase your energy levels, too. In a series of studies, published in the June 2010 edition of the Journal of Environmental Psychology, Dr Richard Ryan writes: "Nature is fuel for the soul... Often when we feel depleted, we reach for a cup of coffee, but research suggests a better way to get energised is to connect with nature”.
 
In urban environments, such as our offices, which are filled with technology and industrial design, benefits from these can be lost. 
 
Or, can they? Researchers at the University of Michigan found that simply looking at images of nature can improve your memory, particularly short-term, as well as your attention span.
 
Spending time in natural environments is associated with reduced stress levels. Studies say its benefits are akin to meditation. It's also linked to a reduction in heart rate and blood pressure. 
 
With benefits such as these, it's no wonder that smart businesses are looking for ways to encourage our natural 'connection' through office design. 
 
Yabu Pushelberg's forest-like installation - Last month, NYC furniture designer Yabu Pushelberg brought the outdoors in when it opened its new gallery and office space. Its impressive forest-like installation showcased the company's latest office furniture ranges. Designs included tables resembling puddles of water and chairs with chunky wooden legs. 
 
For those looking to bring nature into a work space, creating a living wall offers a starting point. However, they can be costly to install and maintain. Moss walls offer a great alternative. There's no watering involved and, best of all, moss' anti-static properties mean that it's an exceptional dust repellent. 
 
Here at Office Reality we have some great tips and tricks to help bring the outside in. For further information give us a call today and a member of the team will be able to help.

Posted by: Josh Seddon

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