Improve Mood/Increase Feelings of Wellbeing

Recap: Looking at Wood (01-29-21)

Lipovac and Burnard review published research related to looking at wood (physical or virtual indoor interactions with real or imitation wood) and reach the conclusion that “Studies with longer exposure times to wood generally observed improved affective states [moods] and decreased physiological arousal in wooden settings. . . . Current evidence suggests that visual wood exposure may improve certain indicators of human stress. . . . Current research suggests that visual wood exposure could lead to beneficial outcomes, but the evidence is limited.  .  .

COVID and At-Home Plants (01-28-21)

Perez-Urrestarazu and colleagues confirm the psychological value of plants by discussing at-home experiences during the pandemic.  The researchers share that they learned via a survey completed by thousands of participants that the presence of “Indoor plants correlated with positive emotional well-being during the COVID-19 confinement.  Negative emotions were more frequent in those living in small sized homes with minimal natural light and deprived of plants.  Few plants strategically placed indoors and a higher number of plants combined with living walls outdoors are preferred. . .

Depression and Street Trees (01-27-21)

Marselle and colleagues link more street trees closer to homes to a decreased likelihood that residents will be depressed.  The investigators report that they  “analysed the association of street tree density and species richness with antidepressant prescribing for 9751 inhabitants of Leipzig, Germany. We examined spatial scale effects of street trees at different distances around participant’s homes, using . . . buffers of 100, 300, 500, and 1000 m. . . . we found a lower rate of antidepressant prescriptions for people living within 100 m of higher density of street trees. . . .

Clutter and Wellbeing (01-21-21)

Research completed by Rogers and Hart confirms that experiencing visual clutter is undesirable.  The duo found that when people feel that their homes are cluttered, their wellbeing is degraded,  “although the correlation between objective and subjective clutter was strong, 47.3% of those who scored in the healthy range of clutter on the objective clutter scale, reported that clutter has negatively impacted their quality of life. . . . This suggests that even when people manage clutter reasonably well, it can impact their quality of life. . . .

Fractals and Kids (12-14-20)

Researchers have determined that children as young as 3 respond positively to seeing fractal patterns, just as adults do.  Robles, Taylor, Sereno, Liaw, and Baldwin found that “Before their third birthdays, children already have an adult-like preference for visual fractal patterns commonly seen in nature. . . . We found that people [both adults and children] prefer the most common natural pattern, the statistical fractal patterns of low-moderate complexity . . . ’ Robles said. . .

Pandemics and Gardens (12-11-20)

Corley and colleagues found relationships between spending time during the COVID pandemic  in home gardens and the wellbeing of older people (mean age of 84) living in Scotland. The researchers learned via an online survey in May/June 2020 that “Spending more time in a home garden associated with greater subjective wellbeing.  . . .Neither gardening nor relaxing in the garden were associated with health outcomes. However, higher frequency of garden usage during lockdown was associated with better self-rated physical health . . . emotional and mental health . . . sleep quality . . .

Biological Diversity and Wellbeing Linked (12-02-20)

Methorst and colleagues investigated links between nearby species biodiversity and human wellbeing. The researchers report that they “examine[d] the relationship between species diversity and human well-being at the continental scale, while controlling for other known drivers of well-being. We related socio-economic data from more than 26,000 European citizens across 26 countries with macroecological data on species diversity and nature characteristics for Europe.


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