|Wednesday, June 24|
Efficacy of nature-based interventions to impact health behavior and health-related outcomes: A scoping review of location and duration
Nicola Davinson, University of Sunderland, United Kingdom
* Stephanie Wilkie, University of Sunderland, United Kingdom
Research supports nature’s positive impact on a population health and wellbeing. Yet, it remains unclear which nature-based health interventions are effective for improving specific health outcomes for adults. There is a lack of clarity regarding the types of the nature settings in these interventions and ‘dose’ of nature exposure necessary for improvement. We reviewed nature-based health interventions published between 2000 and August 2019 for impact on 20 health behaviours/outcomes linked to global and nationally-prioritised public health outcomes. Established scoping review methods were implemented. Findings were based on 55 studies from three scientific databases. Projects used forests (53%) and/or urban green spaces (36%%) but often in comparison to urban streets. Most studies used actual exposure. Durations typically ranged between 15 to 30 minutes; approximately 25% of studies involved between 1-2 hours up to an entire day. There was limited assessment of duration length making it challenging to identify potential dose-response relationships. Generally, positive impacts of nature exposure on mood, blood pressure, heart rate, and biomarkers of stress were identified. Reports of theoretical-based intervention design were lacking; one pressing recommendation is that this should be essential. To impact policy and practice, adopting an established behaviour change framework, which can also potentially complement attention restoration and stress response theories, would be useful to this aim; and would allow for effective evaluation of specific components of the intervention. Future studies need to vary exposure duration by health outcome to identify how long it takes to achieve improvement and when this plateaus. Additionally, interventions need to investigate the impact of a broader range of urban green and built environments that are available with relative ease to time-constrained city dwellers instead of making stark comparisons between urban streets and large-scale nature locations often quite removed from city centres.
Environment Type and Place Preference Interaction: Impacts on Perceived Restoration Potential and Mood Following Brief Online Exposure
* Stephanie Wilkie, University of Sunderland, United Kingdom
Nature counter-acts negative health-related consequences of urban environments, based on evidence it improves cognitive fatigue and wellbeing. Studies using attention restoration theory suggests our preference for nature is based on a need for cognitive restoration. Place preference also represent an individual’s place identity; it interacts with environment type to impact mood and perceived restoration potential (PRP). Many studies use laboratory-based slideshows; the current study objective was to determine whether an online 30-second ‘micro-restorative’ experience evoked similar mood and PRP effects. A convenience sample (N = 211) self-categorised as having a nature (N=106) or urban (N=105) place preference, were randomly allocated to one environment (nature, urban greenspace, urban street), and completed counterbalanced mood and PRP measures. No significant main effect of environment type, place preference, or their interaction existed for mood. Nature was rated higher than urban streets in PRP. The interaction indicated both preference groups rated urban streets lowest, but persons with an urban preference found urban greenspace highest in PRP while the nature preference group rated nature highest. Collectively, this suggested place preference (as place identity) interacted with environment type to impact PRP, with a nature preference resulting in less favourable views of both urban greenspace and streets. This effect is evident after very brief online exposure; whereas widely reported differences in mood after nature or urban green space exposure did not occur in this brief timeframe. Brief online exposure may be useful in determining place preference to help time-constrained individuals choose local settings that may provide restoration; future research should explore exactly how long ‘brief’ online exposure should be to affect mood.
The Identification and Evaluation on Restorative Streetscape Elements a case study of Daxue Road in Shanghai, China
* Yuting Yin, The University of Sheffield, Great Britain
Thwaites Kevin , The University of Sheffield, Great Britain
During coping with various environmental challenges emerging in Chinese urbanisation process, urban streets, as an essential urban public space, has been increasingly highlighted for its potential social value. One way of making urban streets more efficient in delivering social benefits is to consider whether it can be designed to have restorative experiences. This study discusses the significance of urban streets capable of delivering restorative experiences to urban dwellers on the basis of a founded restorative environment theory – Attention Restoration Theory (ART). An open-ended questionnaire of Restorative Component Scale (RCS) is conducted to understand people’s restorative experiences while walking on the case study street – Sujiatun Road, a landscape and leisure branch street located in Shanghai, China. Together with the use of mobile eye-tracking device, this study not only identifies restorative-related streetscape elements by tracking people’s eye movements during the rating, but also establishes the influential mechanism between restorative perceptions and street environmental attributes. Restorative street design instructions can then be generalised from identified restorative streetscape elements and their disclosed correlations with restorative perceptions. 30 participants were invited to rate their restorative perceptions of Sujiatun Road wearing a mobile eye-tracker on site. 18 street elements are identified from video clips recorded in eye-tracking device using semantic segmentation, among which, greenery, the presence of other people and sidewalk are most significantly correlated with people’s restorative experiences. In addition, it is observed in this study that for each ART construct (being away, fascination, extent and compatibility), influential mechanism of each street element varies which suggest it is feasible to improve street restorativeness according to different emphasis of streets in practices.
Investigating positive and threat-based awe in natural and built environments
* Hanna Negami, University of Waterloo, Canada
Colin Ellard, University of Waterloo, Canada
Although only recently gaining momentum in psychological research, awe has long shaped our relationship to nature and the built environment, such as in religious monumental architecture (Joye & Verpooten, 2013). Demonstrated positive effects of feeling awe include increased prosocial behavior and feelings of connection to others (e.g., Piff et al., 2015; Bai et al., 2017). Less is known about threat-based awe, or awe elicited through a threatening stimulus, such as that experienced when witnessing natural disasters (Gordon et al., 2017). Despite threat-based awe resulting in greater feelings of powerlessness and fear than positive awe (Gordon et al., 2017), both forms of awe are characterized by a smaller perceived self-size, or the feeling of being in the presence of something greater than oneself (Bai et al., 2017; Gordon et al., 2017). In two online studies, we explore the effects of positive and threat-based awe as elicited through nature imagery (Study 1) and architecture (Study 2). In Study 1 (N = 116), using nature imagery, we show that threat-based awe leads to greater feelings of powerlessness and fear than positive awe, and that both positive and threat-based awe result in a smaller perceived self-size than no awe. In Study 2 (N = 100), we extend these findings to architectural environments chosen to elicit positive and threat-based awe. While both conditions led to a smaller perceived self-size than the control condition, we did not successfully elicit threat-based awe. Instead, the video meant to elicit threat-based awe elicited positive awe for most participants. This research expands our understanding of how we respond to beautiful and threatening awe-evoking environments, from ancient monumental structures and natural phenomena to the supertall skyscrapers and natural disasters that are becoming increasingly common. Future work will compare social effects of awe as evoked through nature and architecture.