In the fast-paced world of modern corporate life, where deadlines loom and stress levels rise, the importance of employee wellbeing cannot be overstated, especially as numerous UK-based studies underscore the positive impact of nature on people’s mental health.

According to a comprehensive report by Natural England, exposure to green spaces is linked to a reduction in stress levels, anxiety, and depression. The study suggests that even brief interactions with nature can substantially enhance mental wellbeing, with participants reporting improved mood and increased feelings of vitality.

To add, the Wildlife Trust has reported that employees returning to work after spending time in nature exhibit heightened levels of happiness, improved health, and a more positive outlook. In fact, more than 80% of individuals reported enhanced wellbeing after just one day spent in a natural environment.

On top of this, a study conducted by the University of Essex highlights that a mere 20 minutes spent in a natural setting – whether a park, woodland, or by a lake – can lead to a substantial improvement in mood and concentration levels, while the University of Exeter has found breaks in natural settings increase job satisfaction and a heightened sense of wellbeing.

It’s as if nature serves as a ‘reset button’ for our minds, and instead offers a reprieve from the mental clutter of office life and helps to recharge our thought processes.

The research has been done, with the benefits of nature clear to see, so what steps can you personally take to incorporate nature into your business’ wellbeing programme?

Breaking the Routine: The Power of Outdoor Breaks

In the hustle and bustle of the corporate world, taking a step back and embracing nature can be a game-changer. Allowing employees to take breaks outdoors provides a welcome escape from the confines of office walls and the glow of our ‘always on’ computer and mobile device screens.

It not only provides a mental break, but facilitates physical activity, which is a crucial component of maintaining overall health. Encouraging employees to take short walks during breaks not only promotes fitness but also allows for fresh air, a change of scenery and event addresses potential musculoskeletal issues associated with prolonged periods of desk work.

Prescribing Nature: An Innovative Wellbeing Approach

In recent years, the concept of “nature prescriptions” has started to gain momentum as a unique and effective approach to enhancing mental health. We are aware of healthcare professionals now prescribing time in nature to patients, recognising the therapeutic value of green spaces. This concept has the potential to integrate into company wellbeing programmes.

Encouraging employees to spend a day in nature, breaking away from their regular routine, can be a transformative experience. This doesn’t necessarily involve elaborate outdoor adventures; even a day in a local park or time spent at a nature reserve can yield benefits. Providing employees the opportunity to disconnect from digital devices and immerse themselves in the natural world can result in improved focus, reduced stress levels, and enhanced creativity.

Team Building in Nature: Cultivating Connections

Nature possesses an inherent ability to forge meaningful connections among individuals. Turning to outdoor team-building activities can help to strengthen relationships among employees. Whether it’s a day of hiking, a team-building retreat in the countryside, or a collaborative project in a natural setting, these activities can help to foster teamwork, communication, and camaraderie.

Studies have shown that group nature walks significantly improve group cohesion and reduce tension among participants. The shared experience of being in nature creates a positive and relaxed atmosphere, enabling team members to connect on a personal level outside the confines of the office environment.  These can include any of the following:

  • Woodland Mindfulness Sessions: Guided meditation and mindfulness practices in a natural woodland setting, reducing stress, improving focus, and promoting mental clarity.


  • Forest Bathing (also known as ‘Shinrin-yoku’): A meditative walk through the woods, linked to reduced stress levels, improved mood, and enhanced immune function.


  • Country and ‘Bushcraft’ Skills: Practical outdoor skills programmes fostering a hands-on connection with nature, promoting confidence, resilience, and a sense of accomplishment.


  • Hiking Trails: Opportunities for employees to explore natural landscapes through walking or trekking, promoting physical exercise, cardiovascular health, and team bonding.


  • Relaxation in Nature – accessible in local parks, nature reserves or even camping: Providing access to nearby parks, nature reserves or campsites for leisure activities, can help to contribute towards reduced stress and increased overall personal satisfaction.


Having grown up in the wilds of Dartmoor, being in nature is part of me. It has led me on the path to where I am now with the work I do in connecting people with nature, and it’s clear to me that the undeniable benefits of incorporating nature into a company wellbeing programme will have significant impacts on mental health, as well as physical advantages of outdoor breaks, and the potential for team building in natural settings.

As we navigate the complexities and stresses of the modern workplace, let’s not overlook the simple (yet profound) healing power of nature; a breath of fresh air for both individual and collective wellbeing should not be underestimated.

Tom Backhouse_CampWild
Tom Backhouse
Co-founder at CampWild | Website

Tom Backhouse is the co-founder of CampWild. A geologist & serial entrepreneur, Tom was once the founder & CEO of Terrafirma, the UKs biggest digital ground risk modelling company, for nearly ten years until exiting to focus on his establishing CampWild. Tom is focused on revolutionising how we access, experience and share time in nature, whilst building deep, meaningful connections with the land & the people who live there.