The natural context of wellbeing : studying beneficial effects of nature and daylight in daily life using experience sampling

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Kort, de, Y.A.W., Beute, F., Kalinauskaite, I. & IJsselsteijn, W.A. (2013). The natural context of wellbeing : studying beneficial effects of nature and daylight in daily life using experience sampling.

Abstract

 

Beneficial effects of nature on health and wellbeing have been reported using laboratory, crosssectional, and epidemiological studies. Furthermore, the effects of nature on vitality in daily life

have been reported in an experience sampling study (Ryan et al., 2009). In the study we present here, we also employed an experience sampling methodology to investigate beneficial effects of nature in everyday life. We expanded the findings of Ryan and colleagues by investigating a wider range of outcome variables; tension, hedonic tone, energy, and executive functioning and self-control. Moreover, we not only investigated effects of naturalness of the environment on wellbeing, but also of the amount of daylight in the environment. The rationale for including daylight in the study is that not only do both phenomena occur at the same time, they can also confound each other as they both produce very similar beneficial effects on health and wellbeing (Beute & de Kort, 2013). Pseudo-objective checklists as well as subjective assessments of naturalness and daylight characteristics were used to assess naturalness and amount of daylight. Self-control and executive functioning were operationalized as lapses in self-control and ability to concentrate. Results indicate that naturalness of the environment can positively influence wellbeing in many ways, whereas effects of daylight were less pronounced.