The National Benefits Hub

Research that Supports Recreation

← Home

Advanced Search

The Benefits of Nature Experience: Improved Affect and Cognition

Key Message

This study extends previous research by demonstrating additional benefits of nature experience on affect and cognition through assessments of anxiety, rumination, and a complex measure of working memory (operation span task). 

Source

Bratman, Gregory N., et al. (2015). The benefits of nature experience: Improved affect and cognition. Landscape and Urban Planning. 138: 41–50. doi:10.1016/j.landurbplan.2015.02.005

Purpose

This study investigated the impact of nature experience on affect and cognition.

Evidence

We randomly assigned sixty participants to a 50-min walk in either a natural or an urban environment in and around Stanford, California. Before and after their walk, participants completed a series of psychological assessments of affective and cognitive functioning. Compared to the urban walk, the nature walk resulted in affective benefits (decreased anxiety, rumination, and negative affect, and preservation of positive affect) as well as cognitive benefits (increased working memory performance). This study extends previous research by demonstrating additional benefits of nature experience on affect and cognition through assessments of anxiety, rumination, and a complex measure of working memory (operation span task). These findings further our understanding of the influence of relatively brief nature experiences on affect and cognition, and help to lay the foundation for future research on the mechanisms underlying these effects.

Benefit Statements / Outcomes

Leadership Provided By:

  • Leisure Information Network (LIN)
  • Alberta Recreation and Parks Association

On Behalf Of:

  • Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRAA)

Get Updates By Email