Arboretum News

Take a Break in Nature

Micro-doses of nature have the potential to help alleviate symptoms of burnout.

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Taking one 20 minute break in nature on a daily basis can help with symptoms of burnout. Photo by Mark MacLennan.

By Jean Larson, manager of the Nature-Based Therapeutic Services Program at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

According to a recent Gallup survey burnout impacts as many as two-thirds of American full-time workers. In fact, the Society for Human Resource Management suggests there is an epidemic of burnout in a wide-variety of occupations but is particularly prevalent among nurses and doctors working in hospitals. 

Fortunately, there is compelling evidence nature can help address burnout. In a recent study (partially funded by TKF Foundation) researchers at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland, Oregon, documented a strong improvement in burnout-related symptoms among nurses who took one of their daily breaks in a hospital garden rather than in an indoors break room. Specifically, the nurses would spend about 20 minutes once daily in a hospital garden with positive effects noted after just six weeks. 

Think of that! One daily break in nature for 20 minutes and burnout symptoms improve – who knew? Nature presents all of us with practical and accessible means to address burnout, especially now during the pandemic as more and more of us are working from inside our homes.

Have you had your micro-dose of nature yet today? The study published in the American Journal of Critical Care is freely available to download and read in full: Impact of Nurses Taking Daily Work Breaks in Hospital Garden on Burnout.

1 comment on “Take a Break in Nature

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