Did you know average North Americans spend more than 90% of their time indoors and more than 6 hours a day in front of screens. We’re also increasingly urban and more disconnected from the natural world. Symptoms of our nature deficit are easy to spot: stress, obesity, heart disease, asthma and depression. The cost of our high-tech, indoor lives also shows up in the workplace: reduced productivity, lower job satisfaction, and higher rates of absenteeism.
The good news? We already have an easy prescription for healthier lives. We simply need to increase our dose of nature! Over the last decade, researchers documented what most of us know intuitively: nature is good for our health and well-being. Being regularly immersed in a natural setting—like a park, field, or forest—can reduce stress while boosting immunity, energy levels, and creativity. Nature truly is the best medicine! A study by the World Economic Forum shows that wellness programs can play a powerful role in employee engagement, organizational productivity, talent retention, creativity, and innovation.
To encourage greater connection to nature and healthier lifestyles, Miron employees are participating in the 30×30 Nature Challenge, a simple, yet meaningful way to build on our current employee wellness program.
WHAT IS THE 30X30 NATURE CHALLENGE?
The Wisconsin Green Building Alliance (WGBA) is hosting the 30×30 Nature Challenge during June 2014. They are asking Wisconsinites to pledge to spend 30 minutes in nature every day for 30 days straight.
WHEN DOES THE CHALLENGE START?
The 30×30 Nature Challenge began on Sunday, June 1, and concludes Monday, June 30th.
WHERE CAN WE FIND NEARBY NATURE?
Nature isn’t a destination – it’s literally in your backyard. Green space is as close as your closest neighborhood park or garden (or Miron garden). Community gardens, trails, ravines, and beaches are great examples of nature.
WHAT COUNTS AS “TIME IN NATURE”?
The answer is pretty simple— time in nature is about getting outside and taking time to notice and connect with living things. Time in nature is not always the same as being outside—most busy city thoroughfares aren’t very green or calming. But the good news for urban dwellers is that even small green spaces are beneficial if you relax and pay attention to nature. We recommend putting electronic devices away so you can use all of your senses to connect with nature; listen for bird song, breathe fresh air and watch for local wildlife.
FOR MORE INFORMATION…
Check out Wisconsin Green Building Alliance’s 30×30 Nature Challenge Facebook page for tips and ideas!