Enhance Satisfaction/Quality of Life

Living in Timber Homes (01-27-20)

Furhapper and colleagues investigated the experience of living in newly-built timber homes.  They conducted a “study [that] included a comparison of the construction types timber-frame (TF) and solid wood (SF), in addition two different ventilation types, controlled vs. window ventilation. . . The emission progression of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including formaldehyde, was recorded and compared with the subjective well-being of the residents . . . VOC-emissions were initially elevated regardless of construction and ventilation type.

Virtual Nature and Mental Health (01-16-19)

Browning and colleagues have determined that virtual nature experiences can have the same effects on mental health as “real” ones.  The team reports that “Nature exposure in virtual reality (VR) can provide emotional well-being benefits for people who cannot access the outdoors. . . . [the researchers compared] the effects of 6 min of outdoor nature exposure with 6 min of exposure to a 360-degree VR nature video, which is recorded at the outdoor nature exposure location. Skin conductivity, restorativeness, and mood before and after exposure are measured.

Urban Design and Sprawl (01-15-19)

Researchers from McGill and the University of California, Santa Cruz have identified a cause of increasing urban sprawl. Barrington-Leigh and Millard-Ball report that “the local streets of the world’s cities are becoming less connected, a global trend that is driving urban sprawl and discouraging the use of public transportation. . . . in large parts of the world, recent urban growth has increasingly resulted in inflexible and disconnected street networks. . . . Gridded street networks . . . promote efficient, dense urban form in Bolivia, Argentina and Peru.

More on Doses of Nature (01-14-19)

Meredith and colleagues investigated the mental health consequences of college students spending time in nature.  They determined via a literature review that “when contrasted with equal durations spent in urbanized settings, as little as 10 min of sitting or walking in a diverse array of natural settings significantly and positively impacted defined psychological and physiological markers of mental well-being for college-aged individuals.”

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