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Exposure to nature improves well-being

09 Nov 2017

A two-week well-being intervention that involves exposure to nature is effective for improving prosocial orientation and net positive affect, according to a recent study.

In the study, 364 undergraduate students (mean age 20.09±4.08 years; 67.6 percent female) were assigned to one of three well-being intervention conditions: business-as-usual controls (n=133), human-built condition (n=110) and nature condition (n=121).

At baseline, there were no significant differences in mean net positive affect (netPA) among the nature (12.10±6.41), human built (11.86±8.30) and control (11.54±8.90) groups (p=0.14).

Posthoc analysis showed that the nature condition resulted in significantly higher netPA than controls (p<0.001) and the human-built condition (p=0.001). There was no significant difference in netPA between the human-built and control conditions (p=0.820).

Similarly, those that went on the nature condition well-being intervention showed significantly higher elevating experiences than those who went to the human-built (p<0.001) and control (p=0.002) conditions.

In terms of general sense of connectedness, the nature condition was significantly better only than the control condition (p=0.002). In contrast, prosocial orientation was significantly improved in the nature condition compared with the human-built condition (p=0.047).

Going to the nature-based well-being intervention did not significantly improve the participants’ sense of meaning and hours spent in nature in the past 2 weeks. Moreover, there were no significant differences between the human-built and control conditions in terms of all well-being measures.

“As predicted, participants in the nature condition reported significantly higher levels of postintervention net positive affect, feelings related to elevation, a general sense of connectedness and a greater prosocial orientation, compared to those in the human-built and control conditions,” said researchers.

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Most Read Articles
18 Apr 2018
Higher intake levels of coffee appear to be associated with reduced risk of developing chronic kidney disease, according to data from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study.
Jairia Dela Cruz, 5 days ago
Infants delivered via caesarean section may be at increased risk of developing acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, according to a US study. Altered microbiota colonization is a possible explanation for this risk, although clear biological mechanisms have yet to be established.
5 days ago
Treatment with danegaptide does not improve myocardial salvage in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) undergoing primary percutaneous coronary intervention, according to the results of a phase II study.
4 days ago
Men with high levels of exposure to diesel exhaust are at greater risk of developing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (AML), as shown in a recent study. This is not true for women.