Look out the window for stress relief

Forget the television or iPod – nature beats technology for relieving stress and slowing heart rates, an article in the Journal of Environmental Psychology has found.

New research from Human Interaction with Nature and Technological Systems shows simply looking at a natural environment slows heart rates. The study, conducted at the University of Washington, observed subjects while looking at a nature scene through a window, the same scene on a high-definition plasma television and a blank wall.

But office workers shouldn’t fret. The research found that while artificial light can’t produce the same benefits as natural light, they did find “evidence that actually looking out the window plays a significant role in heart rate recovery”.

But the study issues a warning against technological reliance, saying “not only are we quickly degrading the natural world (and thus limiting our opportunities to interact with healthy and diverse ecosystems), but more and more the human experience of nature will be mediated by technological systems”.


Read more about health and work environments



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