Effect of Viewing Video Representation of the Urban Environment and Forest Environment on Mood and Level of Procrastination

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Jul 15;17(14):5109. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17145109.

Abstract

A common problem among students is the problem of delaying important work activities, which is conceptualized as procrastination. Since procrastination can cause considerable costs for society, we would like to find a method to effectively alleviate the symptoms of this conditioning. It has been proven in an earlier study that staying in the forest environment increases vitality and reduces anxiety, and the negative state of these features can be associated with the intensification of procrastination symptoms. Therefore, it is likely that watching a forest video may decrease the probability or intensity of procrastination. To measure the impact of the forest environment on the level of procrastination of the subjects, a randomized experiment was carried out, in which the subjects watched in random order (on different days) one of two 15-min videos: one showing a walk in the forest area and one showing a walk in an urban environment (control). We measured the level of so-called 'fluid procrastination' including three aspects: 'lack of energy to do the work', 'inability to get to work' and 'pessimistic attitude to do the work' with a set of questions the respondents completed before and after the experiment. The results showed that one aspect of fluid procrastination ('pessimistic attitude to do the work') can be effectively lowered by watching a video showing the forest environment. In contrast, watching a video of an urban environment increased the procrastination levels for two other aspects of procrastination ('lack of energy to do the work', 'inability to get to work'). We also measured three other parameters before and after the experiment: mood state, restoration and vitality. Watching the video from forest area raised mood and restoration and watching the video from urban area, decreased mood, vitality and restoration. The study suggests that watching a video showing forest landscapes could be used as an effective remedy for problems related to procrastination among students.

Keywords: forest health benefits; forest therapy; procrastination; profile of mood states; pure procrastination scale; restorative outcome scale; subjective vitality scale; virtual nature.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't