How a natural setting can improve meetings performance

How a natural setting can improve meetings performance
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The old idea of stuffy meetings in boarded up rooms is becoming a thing of the past. While bosses used to think that distractions - even windows - kept employees and attendees from focusing, a host of new studies prove that the opposite is true.

How nature can heal
Greater Good magazine reported: "In one recent experiment conducted in Japan, participants were assigned to walk either in a forest or in an urban center. Results showed that those who walked in forests had significantly lower heart rates and higher heart rate variability (indicating more relaxation and less stress), and reported better moods and less anxiety, than those in urban settings."

A tech break
We live in a society, especially business environments, that can only be described as "sensory overload." We have 24-hour connectivity and mind-bending amounts of information at our fingertips. But many scientists believe our brains were not made for this kind of information bombardment, with the result that we often feel overwhelmed and burned out. The antidote? "Attention restoration" is needed to get back to a normal, healthy state, as reported by Greater Good. Researcher David Strayer, of the University of Utah, believes that being in nature restores our depleted attention circuits, which can then reenergize the creative parts of our brains.

Creativity flourishes
"If you've been using your brain to multitask - as most of us do most of the day - and then you set that aside and go on a walk, without all of the gadgets, you've let the prefrontal cortex recover," says researcher David Strayer, of the University of Utah. "And that's when we see these bursts in creativity, problem-solving, and feelings of well-being." Yet another study, as reported by the Huffington Post, says that the more you get away from the stresses of daily life and the more time you spend outdoors, the greater your level of creativity.

The science behind it
Stanford University conducted research that concluded when people spend time in a natural environment, they experience a shift in how they view time. Instead of feeling pressured by time, or a lack of time, they feel they have "time abundance." And that the time abundance mindset can not only help you reduce stress and slow down but can help you find creative inspiration. Thrive Global sums it up by reporting that natural settings have been found to boost memory, overcome creative blocks, increase brain function and improve mental health.

Theory put into practice in Southwest Florida
One example of all this research put into practice is what the folks in Fort Myers and Sanibel call "Islandology." It's their way of explaining that "getting away" can greatly benefit "getting to work." So when they claim that The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel are "a natural place to gather," they know that nature has qualities that can improve the success of a meeting or business event by helping its attendees with focus, clarity and creativity.

"Our flexible meeting spaces, white-sand beaches and multiple nature-based team building activities make the decision to host your next group here easy," says Jill Vance, Director of Sales for The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel.

For more information on holding your next meeting in a natural setting, visit

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