Do you spend more than four hours at work in an office or other indoor space on a typical work day? If so, a few simple health hacks can help you perform better and release some of the stress that can accumulate from our day jobs.
The Washington Post published an article in 2015 about the health benefits of having a "green roof" (a landscaped lush roof or other area) on office buildings. Don't have a green roof at your place of employment? No worries. According to the article, "the University of Melbourne’s Kate Lee and a group of colleagues found that interrupting a tedious, attention-demanding task with a 40-second “microbreak” — in which one simply looks at a computerized image of a green roof — improved focus as well as subsequent performance on the task.
Studies show that looking at a forest reduces stress levels (so important, since stress can damage the gut µbiome). If there's no forest outside your office window, try changing your computer desktop wallpaper to a lovely forest setting (or a beach, if that's your peaceful place). A framed forest photo on your desk is another option. If you have a Pinterest account, try making a board dedicated to your own personal happy places, and taking a minute or two to look at a couple times per day. Here's mine: Amazing Places.
Want to health hack on an even bigger level? Get yourself physically out into a forest (or even a lush green park). Called shinrin-yoku (森林浴) in Japanese, "forest bathing" is shown to boost the immune system and improve the mood. Who couldn't use a little more of those?