Support Mental Restoration/Ease Stress

Lunchtime Park Walks and Relaxation Spaces: Good Ideas (12-14-17)

Having parks near workplaces where employees can walk for 15 minutes at lunchtime can be good for business—and so can creating an at-work space where people can do relaxation exercises.  A Sianola-lead team reports that “park walk . . . and relaxation . . . groups were asked to complete a 15-min exercise during their lunch break on 10 consecutive working days. Afternoon well-being. . . [was] assessed twice a week before, during, and after the intervention, altogether for 5 weeks. . . . park walks at lunchtime were related to better concentration and less fatigue in the afternoon. . . .

Most Restorative Nature (11-10-17)

Wyles and her colleagues found that not all natural environments are equally restorative. What Wyles and her team have learned about the relative “restorativeness” of different places can be used to select the locations for, and orientations of, buildings, and also to choose art (when art is being used to support cognitive refreshment), for example.  The researchers report that “Exposure to nature can . . . enhance psychological restoration (e.g., feeling relaxed/refreshed). . . . The present study used data from a large survey in England . . .

Sound Management Tool (10-13-17)

The National Research Council of Canada, Construction Division, has released a new edition of their Guide to Calculating Airborne Sound Transmission in Buildings.  A copy is available free at the web address noted below.  The introduction to the Guide reports that “The International Standards Organization (ISO) has published a calculation method, ISO 15712-1 that uses laboratory test data for sub-assemblies such as walls and floors as inputs for a detailed procedure to calculate the expected sound transmission between adjacent rooms. . . .

Support for Time in Nature (09-27-17)

Niedermeier, Einwanger, Hartl, and Kopp studied how people respond to time in nature.  The team investigated the emotional implications “of a three-hour outdoor PA [physical activity] intervention (mountain hiking) compared to a sedentary control situation and to an indoor treadmill condition. . . . healthy participants were randomly exposed to three different conditions: outdoor mountain hiking, indoor treadmill walking, and sedentary control situation (approximately three hours each). . . .

Personal Space Invasions (09-12-17)

Lewis and her team researched personal space invasions in airplanes.  Their findings indicate there are several ways we can invade each other’s space: “The invasion of personal space is often a contributory factor to the experience of discomfort in aircraft passengers. . . . the results of this study indicate that the invasion of personal space is not only caused by physical factors (e.g.

Benefits of Nature Videos (09-06-17)

Nadkarni and her colleagues confirmed the value of watching nature videos, even in challenging environments.  The team share that “An estimated 5.3 million Americans live or work in nature-deprived venues such as prisons, homeless shelters, and mental hospitals. . . .  We report on the effects of vicarious nature experiences (nature videos) provided to maximum-security prison inmates for one year, and compared their emotions and behaviors to inmates who were not offered such videos.


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