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Nota Bene often abbreviated as "N.B.", "N.b." or "n.b.", nota bene comes from the Latin notāre ("to note") and bene ("well"), instructing one to note well the matter at hand.

On a recent autumnal hike in the Wicklow countryside I walked upon a farm gate with an N.B. written large, its red letters striking against a white background, instructing one and all to close the gate after passing through it. Taking due note, I did as instructed and found myself standing still in a beautiful, isolated, wind whipped location, leaves of gold, brown, yellow and russet-red acrobatically twirling and dancing in the gusts of wind, the fresh air all around me.

It was the most alive and vital I had felt all that week long so little wonder the “Nota Bene” bells ringing clearly in my ears concerned fresh air and how it affects us all so positively.

Due to our sedentary urban existences we human beings more than ever need to get up and get out into the fresh air. Daily there is a huge emphasis placed on wellbeing in the work place, with lip service given to evermore studies demonstrating hazardous workplace habits and their detrimental effects on the workforce. The recent Wall Street Journal’s article on “The Price We Pay for Sitting Too Much” is yet another.

Paraphrasing it – they say fresh air to be the key to put an end to our collective woes, as it; lowers stress levels, promotes success at work, triggers our skin to produce vitamin D (necessary to combat cancer), reduces levels of depression, promotes healing, sparks creativity, increases life expectancy, boosts immune systems and finally improves sleep quality.

As if that wasn’t enough it also helps clear the mind, improves concentration and promotes clear thinking, all vital for a productive day at the office. The articles author’s highlight the scientific fact’s that fresh air alters the brain’s levels of serotonin which improves your mood promoting a sense of happiness and well-being.

Basically it cheers us up and let’s face it, we would all prefer to sit beside someone in a good mood at work!

If we ever take the time to think about the life and wellbeing of a child, any child, never once would we call into question their need and fundamental right for fresh air and enjoyment of the great outdoors and we arrive at such an opinion for a good reason. From the article ‘ ‘ in Early Childhood News come the following words of wisdom -

“ The outdoors has something more to offer than just physical benefits. Cognitive and social/emotional development are impacted, too. Outside, children are more likely to invent games. As they do, they're able to express themselves and learn about the world in their own way. They feel safe and in control, which promotes autonomy, decision-making, and organizational skills.”

Well what are adults only grown up kids with debts, mortgages, insecurities and neuroses? So everyone listen to me now, I’m not asking you to do this I’m telling you. Go take a ten or fifteen minute break. Get up now from that desk of yours. Skip the staff canteen. Get up and go outside. Out into in the fresh air. Go out and play. Go out there, breathe deeply, and when you are done come back to the office to wreak productive havoc.

In the words of the great Sufi poet Rumi “The morning wind spreads its fresh smell. We must get up and take that in, that wind that lets us live. Breathe before its gone.”

Nota Bene - Take it outside

Articles by Lorraine Bolger