Effects of Public Green Space on Acute Psychophysiological Stress Response: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Evidence

Lærke Mygind, Eva Kjeldsted, Rikke Hartmeyer, Erik Mygind, Matthew Peter Stevenson, Daniel S. Quintana, Peter Bentsen

57 Citationer (Scopus)

Abstract

Contact with nature is widely considered to ameliorate psychological stress, but the empirical support for a causal link is limited. We conducted a systematic review to synthesize and critically assess the evidence. Six electronic databases were searched. Twenty-six studies evaluated the difference between the effect of natural environments and that of a suitable control on the acute psychophysiological stress response. Eighteen studies were rated as being of moderate quality, four studies of low quality, and four studies of high quality. Meta-analyses indicated that seated relaxation (g = .5, p = .06) and walking (g = .3, p = .02) in natural environments enhanced heart rate variability more than the same activities in control conditions. Cortisol concentration measures were inconsistent. While intuitively and theoretically sound, the empirical support for acute stress-reducing effects of immersion in natural environments is tentative due to small sample sizes and methodological weaknesses in the studies. We provide guidelines for future research.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftEnvironment and Behavior
Vol/bind53
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)184-226
Antal sider43
ISSN0013-9165
DOI
StatusUdgivet - feb. 2021

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