UHA Worksite Wellness

Sustainable Gardening at the Office: Good for Your Mind and Body!

Written by Kim Soares on December 01, 2014. Posted in Well-Being, Post

Where’s the last place you’d imagine pulling a fresh carrot out of the ground? If you answered “the office,” you’re probably not alone. But for a growing number of Americans, that’s exactly where their next salad comes from. From stress-relief to improved problem-solving skills, sustainable gardening offers terrific benefits for both health and morale – and companies are taking notice. To support your team in both mind and body, a workplace garden may be the perfect solution you’ve been looking for.

A Social Activity & Team-Building Exercise

As a project that involves planning and execution, gardening brings your team together around a common goal. What’s the best way to use the space you have available? Which fruits or vegetables will you grow? Who will be in charge of preparing the soil, planting the seeds, watering, etc.? Will you build your own compost pile? From the very beginning, your team will have many questions to answer and decisions to make together, providing a great opportunity to build leadership, planning, and problem-solving skills in a supportive and nurturing environment. Just imagine how rewarding it will feel for everyone involved, come harvest time, to enjoy a group meal that you all helped make as a team.

Accessible & Beneficial Tasks For Every Skill Level

Since it involves a wide range of tasks, gardening is suitable for participants of all fitness levels and abilities. Those looking for a more intense workout can dig and turn the soil, while those favoring low-impact activity can sow, water, or harvest. No matter how they help, everyone benefits from the physical activity, stress-relief, community-building and self-esteem boost that gardening provides.

Increased Awareness And More Healthy Choices

With obesity and diabetes still on the rise, educating ourselves and our staff on how to make healthy food choices is an important priority for the modern organization. By fostering a deeper understanding of where our food comes from, and by providing a source of healthy produce (in the case of vegetable and fruit gardens), workplace gardening not only improves our “relationship” with healthy foods, but also our access to them. Imagine how much simpler your lunch could be if you only had to bring salad dressing because the lettuce and tomatoes were already waiting for you at work.

Sustainability Practices Benefit More Than The Soil

When we learn about sustainability, we also learn to respect the aina (or land) think globally to make sound decisions for the future, and to use resources carefully, considerately, and thoughtfully which reflects the Hawaiian value of living pono or properly and in perfect order. These values extend well beyond the garden; they’re also terrific values to promote in the workplace, to encourage your staff to be mindful and forward-thinking in their decision-making and in their use of business resources.

These are a few of the many benefits that sustainable gardening provides. From physical and mental health benefits, to improved employee morale and work satisfaction, starting a garden in your workplace is enriching on virtually every level – both personally and professionally. Isn’t it time you sowed the seeds for a better workplace?

Kim Soares

VP of Business Development

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