Support Mental Restoration/Ease Stress

Relaxing Music Tempos (04-20-21)

Recently released research confirms which music tempos are relaxing.  A study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society indicates that “listening to music can help older adults sleep better. . .  People who were treated with music listened to either calming or rhythmic music for 30 minutes to one hour, over a period ranging from two days to three months.  (Calming music has slow tempo of 60 to 80 beats per minute and a smooth melody, while rhythmic music is faster and louder.) . . .

Lightness Changes Desirable (04-16-21)

Rodriquez and teammates determined via a virtual-reality-based study that we prefer apparent daylighting levels to vary from time to time in viewed urban environments; their findings may be useful to people developing virtual spaces, for example. The group shares that their work “analyze[d] subjective reponses to lightness changes in outdoor views with respect to three view constructs (i.e., preference, recovery, and imageability). . .

Good Lighting, Evolving (04-13-21)

Which light is best? Houser and colleagues report that “light is still for vision, and lighting for visibility, visual comfort and visual amenity is as important as ever. Complementing the old is new awareness and responsibility for how light and lighting influence non-visual responses in humans. Circadian, neuroendocrine and neurobehavioural responses are important for human health and should be considered on-par with visual responses. This awareness leads toward lighting design solutions with increased contrast between day and night.

Depression and Nature Views (04-07-21)

Evidence continues to grow indicating that people who are depressed have different visual experiences than those who are not. Meuwese found that when “After viewing a stressful video, participants were randomly allocated to one of two conditions, in which they watched a video of a walk in either (1) natural, or (2) built surroundings. . . . In both experiments, participants with more (rather than less) depressive symptoms displayed more stress reduction after viewing nature rather than built settings. . . . People with more depressive symptoms benefited more from viewing nature. . .

Wood-Use Resource (03-31-21)

In cooperation with a research team at the Technical University of Munich, Stora Enso has released a white paper detailing health and wellbeing benefits of living and working in spaces with wood design elements. It is available free of charge at the web address noted below.  Research indicates, for example, that “wood has beneficial effects. . . .

Moving to Activity-Based Workplaces (03-30-21)

Hodzic and colleagues studied the implications of moving into an activity-based workplace (which the researchers refer to as “activity-based flexible offices”).  The researchers determined that “moving to the A-FO had negative effects on distraction, work engagement, job satisfaction, and fatigue. The negative effects of distraction were more pronounced in situations of increased time pressure and unpredictability. . . . .

More on the Pluses of Hearing Nature (03-19-21)

Buxton and colleagues reviewed published studies on the implications of hearing nature sounds.  They determined that “natural sounds improve health, increase positive affect [mood], and lower stress and annoyance. . .  .  Our review showed that natural sounds alone can confer health benefits. . . . water sounds had the largest effect on health and positive affective outcomes, while bird sounds had the largest effect on alleviating stress and annoyance.”

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