Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Review
. 2014 Oct 21;4(4):394-409.
doi: 10.3390/bs4040394.

The Role of Nature in Coping With Psycho-Physiological Stress: A Literature Review on Restorativeness

Affiliations
Free PMC article
Review

The Role of Nature in Coping With Psycho-Physiological Stress: A Literature Review on Restorativeness

Rita Berto. Behav Sci (Basel). .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Physical settings can play a role in coping with stress; in particular experimental research has found strong evidence between exposure to natural environments and recovery from physiological stress and mental fatigue, giving support to both Stress Recovery Theory and Attention Restoration Theory. In fact, exposure to natural environments protects people against the impact of environmental stressors and offer physiological, emotional and attention restoration more so than urban environments. Natural places that allow the renewal of personal adaptive resources to meet the demands of everyday life are called restorative environments. Natural environments elicit greater calming responses than urban environments, and in relation to their vision there is a general reduction of physiological symptoms of stress. Exposure to natural scenes mediates the negative effects of stress reducing the negative mood state and above all enhancing positive emotions. Moreover, one can recover the decrease of cognitive performance associated with stress, especially reflected in attention tasks, through the salutary effect of viewing nature. Giving the many benefits of contact with nature, plans for urban environments should attend to restorativeness.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 35 articles

See all "Cited by" articles

References

    1. Evans G., Cohen S. Environmental Stress. In: Stokols D., Altman I., editors. Handbook of Environmental Psychology. Wiley; New York, NY, USA: 1987. pp. 571–610.
    1. Yerkes R.M., Dodson J.D. The relation of strength of stimulus to rapidity of habit formation. J. Comp. Neurol. Psychol. 1908;18:459–482. doi: 10.1002/cne.920180503. - DOI
    1. Hartig T., Evans G., Jamner L.D., Davis D.S., Garling T. Tracking restoration in natural and urban field settings. J. Environ. Psychol. 2003;23:109–123. doi: 10.1016/S0272-4944(02)00109-3. - DOI
    1. Ulrich R.S., Simons R.F., Losito B.D., Fiorito E., Miles M.A., Zelson M. Stress recovery during exposure to natural and urban environments. J. Environ. Psychol. 1991;11:201–230. doi: 10.1016/S0272-4944(05)80184-7. - DOI
    1. Kaplan R., Kaplan S. The Experience of Nature: A Psychological Perspective. Cambridge University Press; Cambridge, UK: 1989.
Feedback