Green Space on Health and Well-Being

When having a break from the routine day, one needs a relaxing activity and environment to enable proper physical and psychological relaxation. Green spaces have numerous characteristics that present an ideal source of relaxation. Someone may have different choices on how to spend their daily break in a green space depending on how tiring their occupation is or according to their taste and preferences. People also may be limited in the activities they engage in the green spaces depending on the place; for instance, one may have access to a home garden while others may only have access to the public gardens. The study finds that people with access to either private or public green spaces have better energy physically and psychologically. Having a green space at home enables one to involve in numerous activities without much concern about how the public might perceive them, unlike in public gardens where one may need to be very cautious to avoid breaking some community values.

Different activities in green spaces are suitable for the health and well-being of people with demanding occupations. For instance, healthcare workers faced a challenging time during the COVID-19 pandemic, where their jobs put them at risk of unfamiliar diseases. The health workers had a lot of physical, emotional, and psychological struggles throughout and after the COVID-19 period; thus, having a green space may have done great good for them by providing an escape from the hectic job. Like this study’s findings, workers walk more in the green spaces during work breaks, whether they work from home or at official workplaces. Elsewhere, other workers kept going to their physical workplaces despite the risk of contracting the disease. Thus, they may have also faced many anxiety issues from the changes that COVID-19 had imposed on the world’s normalcy. Others had to work from home, thus dealing with lots of issues, and thus their well-being and physical health needed a boost; therefore, a green space proved significant to keep workers sober and fit for the job and life.

Introduction

The outbreak of covid-19 came as a surprise to the world, and thus the world reacted to it by authorities imposing restrictions across many regions globally. These restrictions spared no one as they had to be adhered to strictly, with some authorities making laws that breaking the health regulatory measure would have legal consequences. The restrictions changed many people’s lives and livelihoods, especially employees who had to adjust to new measures in working environments or even new working environments. Those who commuted to work through public means faced even more challenging situations, as they had to adhere to restrictions in the transport systems and similarly to work. Others were forced to adjust to working from home environments, thus presenting them with new occupational challenges. Adjusting to the new work environments came with stress and some anxiety about managing the working space and discipline for those working from home. In contrast, others had to deal with the stress of contracting the deadly and scientifically unfamiliar disease. Therefore, the need to practice therapeutic activities rose in the covid-19 period for the working class. Nature presents some ideal relaxing effects, especially in green spaces where one may take breaks from work to control the mounting stress about work and the pandemic. In green spaces located around the designated working station, one served during the pandemic and post-pandemic periods, people could find some escape from their physical and mental struggles.

Gardens give perfect places to escape life’s hardships, thus promoting the well-being of workers, specifically during and after the covid-19 pandemic. While experiencing difficult times, one may take a nature walk in the parks and get carried away by the beautiful and relaxing clean and fresh air in the green spaces due to plenty of natural vegetation that provides a chill feeling. Being carried away and enjoying the moment in the green space contributes significantly to the well-being of a person facing mental stress. Thus the garden proves essential to mental and physical health (Wolch, 2014). In-home green spaces, for those working from home, a worker can take a break to have family fun that will smile at them, thus reducing the possible effects of stress and anxiety like depression. The home garden fun also will help in building stronger family bonds. Thus, workers feel more supported and loved by family, increasing their happiness and promoting their well-being. For those using public gardens, it similarly plays a significant role in elevating their happiness levels. They can engage with colleagues or other people using the space on different issues that may bring hope to their lives, building comfort. When one feels comfortable and confident that their issues are not exclusively affecting them, it can help change their perspective and thus make it easier for them to deal with stress and anxiety, promoting their health and well-being.

The relaxed environments in the green spaces also provide people with a resting place, especially where there are installed sitting places or grass where one can lay for a while as they relax from the tedious work they do or the heavy mental burdens from the situations that were taking place due to covid-19 effects. In instances where one had to pay attention to wearing a mask, maintaining social distance, washing hands, and avoiding contact with possibly contaminated areas was a challenging task for one to maintain discipline, mainly due to the ordinary events where there were no such restrictions. In a garden, one can have the freedom of movement, thus exercising the body, which helps significantly retain a fit body and control weight. When one controls their body shape and physical well-being, they can avoid issues like lifestyle diseases, therefore elevating their physical health (Richardson, 2013). This shows how crucial the green spaces are in helping workers retain their mental and physical health in the period that life was highly affected by the covid-19 pandemic.

For people living in reasonable proximity to green spaces, it’s notable they have lower metabolic diseases as most of them can use the spaces for physical exercise, thus safeguarding their health. During and after the covid-19 pandemic period, these gardens proved very useful to workers in providing a place for physical exercise, primarily due to the regulations discouraging crowded places like indoor gymnasiums where the risk of contracting covid-19 was higher. Physical health, therefore, was promoted for workers who would access either public or private green spaces for exercise. Health provides the most critical part of someone’s well-being as they don’t have to pay extra costs for healthcare or fail to take their jobs due to health issues, thus retaining financial stability. Being financially stable further promotes mental health; thus, the workers’ well-being elevated significantly, proving the pivotal role green spaces played during and after the pandemic.

Conclusion

Generally, people with access to green spaces are seen to be more energized and lively at work compared to those without access to green spaces around their workplaces. For instance, when one spends the morning hours at work and possibly gets fatigued, visiting a garden and having some light moments with people in a completely different context from work enables them to regain morning energy. While out in the garden, they could mingle with people working in different occupations and discuss the world’s dynamics and other topics away from the job issues. Thus, making the conversation fruitful for the workers by clearing the work stress and probably learning something new, thus making their day at work better than it could have been without such a moment in the green space. People with private gardens may use the break from work to have fun with family or pets, where they may also create some light moments that provide both physical and mental refreshing. Having these moments in the middle of work and during a problematic pandemic helped the workers regain energy, significantly lowering the stress levels caused by the tensions of covid-19 effects and other life issues that may cause one’s energy to lower. One also may opt to do some physical activities like jogging and later freshen up after the break, thus making them gain more energy. Doing light physical exercise would be crucial in helping the worker get over a lot of work-related stress and issues connected with the pandemic effects. The fresh air effect from the green space enabled by the presence of plants around the park fills one with calm and an exclusive feeling while in the garden. Breathing naturally freshened air makes one feel a wave of relief, thus raising the energy levels of work thus increasing the level of happiness and positivity towards life. For a home garden, it is better as one could inhale the fresh air free of wearing the protective gear needed in public spaces, thus making the time in the green space more enjoyable and refreshing. Therefore, as observed, green spaces provide a significant energizing effect for the workers, especially in the middle of work. Thus they must seek a garden to visit during work breaks to regain energy, refresh their minds, and thus enhance their mental and physical health as it would during and after the covid-19 period.

Also, workers tend to take more nature walks around parks and other green spaces when they have access during work breaks. The walks are a healthy form of body exercise that helps improve fitness and maintain a healthy physicality for any worker, thus promoting their well-being. Walks are also crucial in controlling body weight, thus reducing the possibility of a worker, especially those working in offices, contracting diseases and conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. One developing a health issue may mean they fall into a stressful life period which affects their family’s well-being too directly; thus, avoiding health issues is crucial. Walks, during the covid-19 period, also could’ve played a very pivotal role in ensuring one keeps watching things like flowers, park vegetation, and trees, thus enjoying nature which in turn helps one in reducing anxiety and stress levels as they get some escape through the walks. In a private green space, a worker during work breaks during and after the covid-19 period could engage in some gymnastic activities and involve their equipment to promote their body fitness, walk around cleaning or carry out maintenance activities around the garden, and also use the moment to view the garden’s contents. This purposeful walk engages one’s mental and physical energy, thus enabling them to be carried away from the everyday stress and tensions around their job, world, and family; therefore, the garden provides a healthy and robust environment (Kondo, 2018). Furthermore, taking walks around the park or private green space helps promote respiratory health, given the environment has naturally cleaned air from plants that one takes in as they walk around the park. Also, during walks, one engages their respiratory system more as they may keep on taking deep breaths as they enjoy the epic moment around the park; thus, respiratory health is significantly boosted when one is in a green space. There also are beneficial microbiota in nature that help significantly in improving one’s well-being while around the park. Walking in green spaces also provides a psychological restoration effect as nature can heal an overstimulated mind which is the case during work breaks and also considering the psychological pressure present during the covid-19 period. There, green spaces can be seen to have played a very significant role in helping maintain good physical and mental health for workers during the challenging covid-19 period.

References

Kondo, M. C., Fluehr, J. M., McKeon, T., & Branas, C. C. (2018). Urban green space and its impact on human health. International journal of environmental research and public health15(3), 445.

Richardson, E. A., Pearce, J., Mitchell, R., & Kingham, S. (2013). Role of physical activity in the relationship between urban green space and health. Public health127(4), 318-324.

Wolch, J. R., Byrne, J., & Newell, J. P. (2014). Urban green space, public health, and environmental justice: The challenge of making cities ‘just green enough’. Landscape and urban planning125, 234-244.