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Benefits of Play in the Workplace

It’s winter, and if you’re in a northern climate like us in Canada, you’ll likely see children running outside in boots and jackets, doing all kinds of fun things in the snow.

Get out and Play! It does the body good.

play in the workplace
Remember those days of fort-building and snowball-throwing? Why not get out there during this holiday season and join those children? Sure, it’s cold, and maybe you don’t have snow pants—but here’s why you should forget why you can’t, and instead throw on sweatpants and grab whatever warm gear you have and get out there. Believe it or not, play does wonders for your brain!

Two Essential Elements to Winter Play

workplace benefits of play
1. Play: engaging in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose.
2. Outdoors: Being outside in the open air

Benefits of Play in the Workplace

As adults, we become overwhelmed with the need to be productive, accountable, and efficient. We feel like we don’t have time for childhood freedoms—even if we long for them. 

The reality is:

Play can boost your creativity, sharpen your sense of humour and help you cope with stress.

Playing is just as important for adults as it is for children.

Play allows us to experience both relaxation and stimulation at the same time. Play enhances our imagination, creativity and problem-solving abilities and is also a gateway to empathy, communication and relationships.

All of which can lead to benefits in the workplace.

Did you know?

Spending at least 120 minutes a week in nature is associated with good health and wellbeing. —Scientific Reports, 2019

Given that 1 in 5 Canadians struggle with mental health, it is essential to note that there is a strong connection between time spent in nature and reduced negative emotions—including symptoms of anxiety and depression. (BMC Public Health Canada 2013)

Nature also boosts endorphin levels and dopamine production, which promotes happiness. (Research Gate 2014)

To summarize, play is good, and nature is good.

Let’s put it into practice!

How to play outdoors this winter

Here are some ways to play outdoors in your holiday winter wonderland and experience brain health, physical health, and overall wellness benefits. Create a family bucket list of things to do outdoors this winter.

how to integrate play into the workplace
  • Your favourite winter sports. Skating, skiing, hiking. No gear? Ask at your local rink if they need volunteers to clear snow, bring the whole family and make it fun.
  • Go for a nature walk. Play hide-and-seek. Talk about what you see, smell, hear, and feel.
  • Loose parts play. Do something with rocks, twigs, pinecones, pine needles, leaves, grass, dirt, and other things you find in the yard or parks.
  • Go tobogganing. Scream and giggle down the biggest hill you can find. No hill? Build one!
  • Mix food colouring and water in a spray bottle and use the snow as your canvas.
    Build snow forts, snowmen, or other snow sculptures. Once you have all these defences constructed, have a family snowball fight!
  • Invite family, neighbours and friends to take part. The more the merrier!

This winter, find joy in the wonder that is the great outdoors. Feel your cheeks turning red and eyelashes freezing together, and take back some childhood freedoms through play.

Happy holidays!

Need help integrating play into your workplace?

Are you interested in learning more about the benefits of play in the workplace? Or how to integrate play into your organization? Call us. We can work with you to get there quickly—with solutions that are fun, effortless and efficient.