Improve Mood/Increase Feelings of Wellbeing

Greenery and Mental Wellbeing (08-21-19)

Nearby greenery has again been linked to mental wellbeing.  Houlden and colleagues report that their “study was designed to examine whether the amount of greenspace within a radius of individuals’ homes was associated with mental wellbeing, testing the government guideline that greenspace should be available within 300m[eters] of homes. . . . [statistical analyses] revealed positive and statistically significant associations between the amount of greenspace and indicators of life satisfaction and worth. . .

Seat Selection (08-08-19)

Staats and Groot investigated where solo individuals choose to sit in a crowded café when there are already people sitting in some of the coffee house seats.  The researchers report that  “we manipulated two aspects of intimacy (eye contact and distance to others), and one aspect of privacy (architectural anchoring) in separate scenario’s and registered participants’ seat choice on floor plans of the three hypothetical cafés. We found that more often participants chose a seat that was at a larger distance to other café-goers. Study 2 . . . replicated the design of the first study. . . .

Setting and Mindfulness Training (08-05-19)

Lymeus, Lindberg, and Hartig assessed mindfulness training in different environments.  They found that “The setting matters in meditation. . . .  Many mindfulness-based health interventions emphasize effortful attention training exercises in sparsely furnished indoor settings. However, many beginners with attention regulation problems struggle with the exercises and drop out. In contrast, restoration skills training (ReST) – a five-week course set in a garden environment – builds on mindfulness practices adapted to draw on restorative processes stimulated effortlessly in nature contacts.

Green Space Parameters and Health (07-29-19)

Astell-Burt and Feng linked the mental and physical health of city-dwelling people over 45 years old to the extensiveness of the tree canopies and the amount of grass near their homes. They determined that “exposure to 30% or more tree canopy compared with 0% to 9% tree canopy was associated with 31% lower odds of incident psychological distress, whereas exposure to 30% or more grass was associated with 71% higher odds of prevalent psychological distress after adjusting for age, sex, income, economic status, couple status, and educational level.

Kids and Nature (07-24-19)

Our attitudes towards nature evolve over our lives. Meidenbauer and colleagues found that “Children aged 4-11 years do not show the preference for nature [over urban spaces] found in adults [children demonstrated robust preferences for urban over natural environments]. With age, children’s preferences for urban over natural environments decrease.  More nearby nature is associated with fewer attention problems in children. The observed attentional benefits are unrelated to the children’s preferences.  Children’s preferences were not linked to their home, school or play environments. . . .

Happiness, Public Spaces (07-09-19)

Benita, Bansal, and Tuncer set out to learn more about the emotions people feel in public spaces. They specifically probed momentary subjective wellbeing (M-SWB).  During the data collection process, students (age 7 to 18) “wore a sensor for one week, and happy moments were captured as well as geospatial and environmental data throughout the country. This is a large-scale in-the-wild user study. The findings provide weak empirical evidence that visiting parks and community centers increase the probability of experiencing M-SWB compared with commercial areas. . . .

Dynamic Workstations (06-27-19)

The professional implications of dynamic office workstations (DOWs) were evaluated by Schellewald, Kleinert, and Ellegast.  They conducted “a 12 week observational study, 36 employees were given free access to eight DOWs (cycling devices).  Characteristics of use (i.e., frequency, duration, speed, variation of speed) were self-determined but registered objectively for every event of use. . . . employees rated their well-being immediately before (pre) and after (post) using a DOW. .

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