Taking a 40 second break to glance at a grassy rooftop boosts concentration and reduces mental errors, a new study finds.
Dr Kate Lee, of the University of Melbourne Faculty of Science, who led the study, said:
“We know that green roofs are great for the environment, but now we can say that they boost attention too.
Imagine the impact that has for thousands of employees working in nearby offices.
This study showed us that looking at an image of nature for less than a minute was all it took to help people perform better on our task.
Dr Lee continued:
“It’s really important to have micro-breaks.
It’s something that a lot of us do naturally when we’re stressed or mentally fatigued.
There’s a reason you look out the window and seek nature, it can help you concentrate on your work and to maintain performance across the workday.
Certainly this study has implications for workplace well-being and adds extra impetus to continue greening our cities.
City planners around the world are switching on to these benefits of green roofs and we hope the future of our cities will be a very green one.”
The study was published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology (Lee et al., 2015)
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
Network brain image from Shutterstock