A silver lining of the dark pandemic cloud is the fact that more folks are taking walks and/or hikes.

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than one seeks.”

 John Muir, July 19, 1877

This white paper is about the benefits of designing work environments to help us reconnect with the elements of nature – what’s known as biophilic design.

Biophilia is the humankind’s innate biological connection with nature. It helps explain why crackling fires and crashing waves captivate us; why a garden view can enhance our creativity; why shadows and heights instill fascination and fear; and why animal companionship and strolling through a park have restorative, healing effects. 

From the Terrapin Bright Green term paper linked above

If the entire white paper is too dense for you (I get it… “dense” is my middle name), at least read the introduction. (It’s where I cribbed the John Muir quote above as well as the passage above and below.)

TL;DR version:

Biophilic design can reduce stress, improve cognitive function and creativity, improve our well-being and expedite healing; as the world population continues to urbanize, these qualities are ever more important. Given how quickly an experience of nature can elicit a restorative response, and the fact that U.S. businesses squander billions of dollars each year on lost productivity due to stress-related illnesses, design that reconnects us with nature – biophilic design – is essential for providing people opportunities to live and work in healthy places and spaces with less stress and greater overall health and well-being.

And if you’re currently stuck in a home office in your basement (or closet – I’ve seen it on Zoom meeting), get up and get moving. Go outside, find the nearest park, and spend some time reconnecting and re-communing with nature. It’ll do your head, your heart and your health a world of good.