Jiang, He, Chen, Larsen, and Wang evaluated how driving on a freeway through various sorts of urban environments influences driver experience. They found via 90-minute simulations of environments through which study participants “drove” at the legal speed limit (70–120 km/hour) that: “The summarized mental status measure is the average value of the seven measures of negative mental status (boredom, anger, frustration, tension, anxiety, avoidance, mental fatigue). . . . the tree-regularcondition evoked significantly lower levels of negative mental status than all other conditions.
Support Mental Restoration/Ease Stress
A Graham-lead team at the Center for the Built Environment, University of California, Berkeley, reviewed 20 years of data collected by the Center; their findings are available without charge at the web address noted below. The CBE researchers report that “One of the most widely used online POE [post-occupancy evaluation] tools is the Center for the Built Environment’s Occupant Survey. We analyzed data collected from this tool over the last two decades (>90,000 respondents from ~900 buildings) to summarize the database and evaluate the survey structure.
Research completed by Zhou, Wu, Meng, and Kang indicates that the acoustics in hospitals have a significant effect on stress experienced by patients. The researchers share that “Patients in general wards are often exposed to excessive levels of noise and activity, and high levels of noise have been associated with depression and anxiety.
Managing our personal spaces, the distances we maintain between ourselves in different situations
Refreshing surgeons, cutting stress
Nature-based stress busters
Clements and colleagues studied the implications of having aquariums present in a space, either live or on video. After a literature review they report that “Nineteen studies were included [in their analysis]. Two provided tentative evidence that keeping home aquaria is associated with relaxation. The remaining studies involved novel interactions with fish in home or public aquariums.
Researchers used scents to enhance nurses' at-work experiences. A team lead by Reven determined that “aromatherapy may reduce nurses’ on-the-job feelings of stress, anxiety, exhaustion and being overwhelmed. . . . In an eight-week study, [Reven] and her colleagues . . . provided aromatherapy patches to 19 nurses who worked at the Infusion Center at the WVU Cancer Institute. The nurses affixed the patches to the badges they wore on lanyards around their necks.
Influences on mental and physical health