Loder and Stoner review studies related to nature (plants, nature views, etc.) in work environments. They share, for example, that “Research has shown that contact with nature
Support Mental Restoration/Ease Stress
Sudimac, Sale, and Kuhn confirm the value of taking walks in natural areas. They share that they “conducted an intervention study to investigate changes in stress-related brain regions as an effect of a one-hour walk in an urban (busy street) vs. natural environment (forest). . . . findings reveal that amygdala [the amygdala is involved in stress processing] activation decreases after the walk in nature, whereas it remains stable after the walk in an urban environment. These results suggest that going for a walk in nature . . .
Sun and colleagues studied the experiences of pregnant people in green spaces. They had “pregnant women between 8 and 14 weeks’ gestational age . . . view one of three, 5-min, VR [virtual reality] videos of an urban scene with different green space levels (i.e., non-green, moderate, and high) after a laboratory stressor, the Trier Social Stress Test. . . . We found that visual exposure to a green space environment in VR was associated with both physiological and affective [mood] stress reduction among pregnant women, including lower systolic blood pressure . . .
User group specific priorities
Colenberg and Tuuli thoroughly investigated how workplace design can support worker health. They determined via a multi-disciplinary literature review that “It is widely recognized that interior office space can affect health in several ways. Strategic and evidence-based design, including explicit design objectives, well-chosen design solutions and evaluation of results, aid realization of desired health effects. Therefore, this paper aims to identify possibly effective interior design strategies and accompanying design solutions. . . .
Litleskare and Calogiuri looked at the implications of experiencing immersive virtual nature (IVN) during different seasons of the year. They share that “All IVNs represented late spring conditions. Measures included perceived environmental restorativeness, affect, enjoyment, heart rate, and blood pressure.
Focus on outdoor spaces
New research confirms the value of listening to natural soundscapes. In a recent study “EEG and Heart Rate data were recorded from 10 participants within an [real-world] office in London. Each participant listened to a Moodsonic Soundscape (lapping lake waves) . . . and typical office sounds while they performed a series of tasks; Stroop Test (cognition), Alternative Uses Test (creativity). . . . Comparative measures were taken from the typical office sounds and Moodsonic soundscape conditions to compare states of relaxation, engagement, creativity and speed of correct completion.
Supporting wellbeing AND change