Africa, Heerwagen, Loftness, and Balagtas identify ways that biophilic design can support the wellbeing of people and the planet. They report that “Natural settings like landscaped campuses, atria, rooftops, and shoreline esplanades that embody or recall an oasis of ecological normalcy (e.g., the experience of seasons, historical leisure activities or the passage of time) foster psychological stability and anchor resilience.
Improve Mood/Increase Feelings of Wellbeing
Research conducted by Felix and Cavazotte confirms that workplace personalization can have psychological benefits. The duo report that “Individuals are sometimes unable to realize their callings in their formal careers. . . . We developed a grounded theory regarding how people cope with their unanswered callings through . . . workplace personalization. Our study revealed that through this strategy, individuals retain the aspects of an unanswered calling in their self-concept and then reduce the consequences of not realizing the calling.
Stenling and colleagues investigated the effects of climbing stairs on mental performance and mood and their findings generally support design that encourages people to take the stairs. The researchers “examined the effects of stair-climbing intervals on subsequent cognitive performance and mood in healthy young adults [mean age 19]. . . . Participants visited the lab on two occasions, one week apart, and completed one control session (no exercise) and one stair-climbing session (3 x 1 min stair-climbing intervals) with cognitive performance and mood assessed at the end of each session. .
Glasgow and teammates evaluated mood during travel by contacting people periodically during their journeys via their phones. The researchers found that “Mood differed as a function of exposure to various built and natural environments. . . . Positive mood was higher for pedestrians and for bicyclists [than for people engaged in motorized travel]. . . . Interpersonal conversation during trips was associated with more positive mood. . . . Errand trips were associated with more negative mood compared to other trips. . .
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. . .
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. . . .
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.
User wellbeing linked to messages sent
Astell-Burt and Feng linked the mental and physical health of city-dwelling people over 45 years
Our attitudes towards nature evolve over our lives.