Help Your Employees Green Their Exercise Routine

By Linda Brandt




Welcome to Hennepin County Health@Work’s newsletter for worksite wellness coordinators who work in organizations located in Hennepin County. The purpose of Health@Work’s monthly E-tips is to help you (the wellness coordinator) promote better health at your workplace. Please note that any reference to products or services in this newsletter is for educational purposes and does not constitute an endorsement on the part of Hennepin County Health@Work.

It’s been proven that being in nature for as little as five minutes boosts mood and increases self-esteem. While the benefits of physical activity are well-documented, these benefits compound when we take our activity outside. Spending time outdoors helps us feel calm and connected to ourselves and our surroundings.

“There are increased benefits of spending more time in nature and leaving technology behind such as improved short-term memory, enhanced working memory, better problem solving, greater creativity, lower levels of stress and higher feelings of positive well-being.” – David Strayer, Dept of Psychology, University of Utah

Encourage Outdoor Breaks

Providing opportunities to take breaks during work hours – and outside – can help your workforce:

  • Recover from stress and mentally demanding tasks
  • Improve mood and self-esteem
  • Learn to enjoy exercise and be more likely to stick with it long-term
  • Increase overall job satisfaction
  • Enhance performance and productivity

Given current COVID-19 recommendations, please remind your employees to keep 6 feet between themselves and others, and to refrain from gathering when they are being active outside.

Ideas For Action – For Now Or Later

  • Establish a walking route near your building using Google Pedometer. Create and post a map of the route to encourage employees to walk. Routes of ½ to 1 mile are best for quick breaks during work hours. You could also share this link with employees who may want to map out a route near their home.
  • Encourage employees to keep a pair of tennis shoes and socks at work and create a written guideline that allows employees a 15-minute walking break.
  • Consider planting a worksite garden, another creative way to encourage outdoor activity
  • Join the Hennepin County Step to it challenge. Step to it is a family-friendly activity challenge that motivates people of all ages and abilities to become more physically active from May 1-28.
  • Watch for our new Take it outside! physical and mental well-being campaign coming soon from Hennepin County Health@Work. This four-week campaign encourages employees to discover the mental and physical health benefits of being active outside. Employees log their time and make note of their mood immediately before and after getting outside.
  • Share this month’s E-tips “Go outside to feel better fast” with your employees.

Monthly E-tips are written by the Health@Work team. Hennepin County Health@Work offers a broad range of low- and no-cost workplace wellness programs and services to employers located in Hennepin County. For more information visit

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