In for lunch! Ambius 'Connect with Nature' survey results

09/03/2012

1 in 5 never gets out for lunch – rain or shine!

Summer or winter, 1 in 5 British workers (22.4%) never gets out for lunch during a normal working week, even if it's just to grab a sandwich or coffee. If we do get out, it’s not for long, over a quarter (25.9%) of workers spend a maximum of 20 minutes outside during a typical working day in winter.  While a combination of weather and work pressure could be to blame, the findings from a survey of over 1200 office workers by workplace environment consultancy Ambius, highlights concerns that workforces, particularly in urban areas, are lacking a connection with nature and this can impact health and in turn, productivity.

The survey found that:

  • 1 in 5 (22.4%) never goes out for a lunch break during the working week, 17.6% go out for lunch just once a week, 21.1% gets out everyday.   
  • Over a quarter (25.9%) spend no more than 20 minutes outside on a typical working day in winter - whether that’s on lunch, doing the school run or waiting for the bus or train. 
  • 34% have no access to green space for their lunch break. 
  • 40% have no views to green space or trees at work
  • 68% have no view of a plant from their workstation
  • 30% feel their stress levels have worsened in the last year, 18% feel they have improved, 52% felt they have stayed the same

View Connect with Nature survey and results here.

Kenneth Freeman, International Technical Director for Ambius said: "Getting outside in winter probably isn’t top of the priority list, particularly in urban environments.  The problem is that one of our most fundamental requirements as human beings is to maintain a connection with nature – even if it’s just a view of a plant or tree.  If we don’t get outside and have no greenery or planting in view from inside, it can have a really detrimental effect on our welfare.

"While a park and some fresh air is ideal, the next best solution for workspaces devoid of any local green space is to bring the outside in. There have been a number of scientific studies showing how plants can make a major contribution to the health and wellbeing of people, reduce energy costs and increase productivity and profitability. Complaints of Sick Building Syndrome are frequently reduced when interior plants are installed.  We’re not just talking about the humble pot plant, there are a variety of solutions to bring nature inside, from greenwalls which can also be used as room dividers, signage or feature branding, to trees and driftwood sculptures.

"Most of us just naturally feel better if we can see flowers or a plant from where we sit or a view of trees outside.  When we need to calm down or reduce stress we take a walk in the woods or a park. Yet, whether by choice or simply location and the demands of modern life, many workers are losing touch with nature  – arguably at a time when it is most needed to keep mind and spirit healthy."

Ambius

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