From increased productivity to improved eyesight, the benefits of regular exposure to natural light are many. Whether it’s during a morning walk or throughout a day at the office, being exposed to natural light – although not intense sun – is the cause of a number of positive health effects.
At first glance, this fact might seem like something that’s only really of interest for individuals concerned about their own health. It’s not – actually, both individuals and employers can benefit from the massive improvements in health caused by a large degree of exposure to natural light.
From productivity to late-afternoon energy levels, read on to learn about the five biggest health and wellness benefits of daylight for employers.
1. More focused, productive employees
Swiss researcher Mirjam Münch believes that natural light can have a profoundly positive effect on employee productivity. Workplaces that are lit naturally have a higher per-employee output than their alternatives, according to research.
This means that switching off your artificial lighting system and opening up your curtains might not just help you save money on energy bills, but earn more though an effective, highly productive workforce.
2. A smarter, more energetic workforce
As well as increasing productivity, natural light increases alertness and energy in most people. This is particularly true late in the day, when many people feel tired and sluggish due to the phenomenon of ‘late afternoon burnout.’
Consistent exposure to natural light throughout the day results in a significant rise in energy levels during the early afternoon, particularly in the dreaded 2-3PM time period in which energy levels are often low.
3. Fewer workplaces absences due to sickness
People that spend most of their working life in artificially lit environments are more likely to become sick, according to research. Exposure to natural light has a serious impact on the strength of a person’s immune system, making them less likely to fall ill during cold or rainy times of the year.
Light your office, manufacturing plant, or retail store naturally and you’ll not only save money on your energy bill and enjoy higher per-employee output – you’ll also benefit from a workforce that’s less likely to take additional sick days or miss vital deadlines due to illness.
4. Happier, more emotionally stable employees
Psychologists have long believed that exposure to natural light increases happiness and fights depression. Higher-than-normal levels of depression in countries located in the far north of the world confirm that sunlight is essential for stable happiness.
Artificial light, it seems, is a poor biological replacement for natural light. Light your office using natural sunlight and your team won’t just be faster and more productive – they will also be happier and more emotionally stable.
5. A more educated and capable workforce
An interesting study by the Heschong Mahone Group in Sacramento has found that college students achieve higher test scores when educated in environments that are lit using natural light.
For employers, the positive effects of this are obvious – your employees learn more and better remember information when they’re working in a naturally lit workplace environment.
Whether it’s the increase in productivity or the reduction in sick days that play the final part in converting your business to natural lighting, the choice to go green and replace your costly, inefficient artificial lights with a natural alternative is always the right one to make.
“Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”