As the leading expert in the interior landscapes, we at Ambius carried out a survey of 1,000 office workers that shows an alarmingly limited amount of time spent outdoors. The findings show that a majority of office workers spend less time outside each day than prisoners, who require at least one hour of outdoor exposure each day, according to UN guidelines.
The study found that just 35% spend a maximum of 15 minutes outside, excluding time spent commuting. An additional 13% spend a maximum of 30 minutes outside, while only 26% answered that they spend more than an hour outside each day.
The data also revealed that office workers in the Southwest (Arkansas, Arizona, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas) are spending the shortest amount of time outdoors with a whopping 50% of respondents answering that they spend less than 15 minutes outdoors each day.
The office workers that spend the largest amount of time outdoors live in the Western states (Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming). The average office worker in these states spends nearly an hour outdoors each day.
Kenneth Freeman, Head of Innovation at Ambius, says:
“Human beings have an inherent need to connect with nature and green space. With workers spending so much time indoors, office managers need to be more aware of the impact the workplace has on wellbeing. Bringing elements of nature into the workplace or enabling them to personalize their workstations has positive effects on performance, including increases in productivity, creativity, and a greater sense of wellbeing.
“It is worrying how little time people are spending outside during the working day. Whether this is on purpose or not, we should all make a conscious effort to ensure we are finding the time in our day to reconnect with nature in some way – even a ten-minute walk outside at lunchtime can be restorative. As well as the natural benefits of getting some fresh air, feeling close to the natural world can generally make us feel happier, healthier and more productive during the day.”
Some highlights from the survey:
35% of US office workers spend less than 15 minutes outside each day
13% spend a maximum of 30 minutes outside
Only 26% spend more than an hour outside
50% of Southwestern office workers spend less than 15 minutes outdoors each day