Crossan and Salmoni’s work confirms previous studies which have determined that nature experiences are mentally refreshing. The research team reports that “Attention restoration theory (ART) predicts that top-down processing during everyday activities can cause attentional fatigue and that bottom-up processing that occurs when people experience nature will be restorative. This study exposed participants to three different conditions . . .
Support Mental Restoration/Ease Stress
Moran determined that nature experiences, “real” or via images, have a restorative effect on people in prison, they seem to reduce their mental fatigue. She reports “results of a survey of prisoners at a large medium-security prison for men in the United Kingdom. It reflects on prisoners' experiences in relation to elements of the environment in which they reside; specifically, outdoor green spaces and green views in the form of whole-wall photographic images of the natural environment.
Cognitive science research details how workplace design can optimize professional wellbeing and p
Relaxation, stress, and anxiety affected
Evolving waterside walks
Haapakangas and colleagues studied the experience of moving into an activity-based workplace (ABW). Over an extended period, at multiple offices, they evaluated via survey data “the effects of moving into an ABW on satisfaction with communication, on social relations (i.e., social support and social community) and on work demands (i.e., quantitative demands, emotional demands and work pace) 3 months and 12 months after the relocation. . . . Satisfaction with communication and the sense of belonging to a community had decreased 3 and 12 months after the relocation.
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.
New factors identified
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. . . .