1 Thing You Can Do Today

Eat your lunch outdoors

We get it – you are up to your ears in deadlines or you have urgent emails to reply to. Grabbing lunch at your desk seems a no-brainer. But taking your sandwich or salad into a local park, even for just 15-20 minutes, delivers some surprising health benefits that may even boost your productivity.

Here is how spending time in sunlight and fresh air can help you feel better physically and mentally:

1. You can rewind and recharge.

Being outdoors offers a mental and emotional refuge from the overstimulation of flashing screens and vibrating phones. Research suggests spending time in nature and green spaces can help you feel more relaxed and focused, and boost your energy by nearly 40 per cent, which can only benefit you as you head back to work after your break.

2. You will improve your sleep.

Your body’s internal clock generally follows the sun, so you are more awake during the day and sleep better at night. Sunlight affects your circadian rhythm more than electric light, which means that exposing yourself to sunlight can improve your sleep. How? Stepping out into sunlight can help you feel more tired at night, shorten the time it takes to fall asleep, and improve the quality of your rest.

3. Your mood may benefit.

Getting outside into sunlight can often help ease the symptoms of depression such as low mood and fatigue. Experts are not really sure why, but sunlight is believed to increase the body’s level of serotonin, a brain chemical strongly linked to mood.