For 35 years, River Legacy Foundation has functioned based on the belief that nature heals. While it’s widely known that time in nature correlates with feelings of relaxation, its impact on physical health and workplace productivity are less familiar.
An article published by the US Department of Agriculture states that time outdoors reduces our risk of cardiovascular disease by lowering cortisol levels, muscle tension and heart rate, and that an individual’s chronic illness risk is related to how near they live to accessible green spaces. This shows how time outdoors reduces our risk of health declination, but research also concludes that it improves our mental capacity.
Studies conducted by the University of Chicago show that 20 minutes a day spent outside can improve focus, concentration and memory, all which contribute to increased workplace productivity. Therefore, it is in the best interest of businesses to provide their employees with access to nature.
Some of the ways River Legacy Foundation provides its staff with access to nature are through its architecture, location within the metroplex and programming. Upon walking into the River Legacy Nature Center, you are greeted with countless windows that let you see outside, as well as a tree in the center of the atrium. Taking a step out the door can lead you down several tree-lined trails, to a rippling pond, or to features like a bird blind, where the natural world, its flora and fauna, surrounds you.
Employees of River Legacy Foundation are able to access these green spaces throughout the work day, participate in specialist-led sensory walks arranged by the Executive Director, and incorporate time outside into each program offered at the nature center.
While you may be thinking – “my place of employment doesn’t offer walkable trails or a view of a large body of water” – there are many ways that nature can still be incorporated into your work day!
- Taking more frequent breaks between work to step outdoors and refocus
- Orienting your desk towards a window
- Bringing plants into your workspace
Regardless of how your business functions, seeking ways to integrate nature into the daily lives of employees promotes mental, physical and workplace wellness.
Additionally, River Legacy is a resource open to the public and is a prime spot for Arlington and surrounding communities to heal in nature. If you are interested in learning more about what we offer, click here.
Written by: Mollie Ripple, Social Media Coordinator at the River Legacy Foundation