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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(4), 420; doi:10.3390/ijerph13040420

Restoration in Its Natural Context: How Ecological Momentary Assessment Can Advance Restoration Research

Human Technology Interaction, School of Innovation Sciences, Eindhoven University of Technology, P.O. Box 513, Eindhoven 5600, The Netherlands
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Academic Editors: Agnes van den Berg and Jenny Roe
Received: 30 December 2015 / Revised: 22 March 2016 / Accepted: 7 April 2016 / Published: 13 April 2016
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Abstract

More and more people use self-tracking technologies to track their psychological states, physiology, and behaviors to gain a better understanding of themselves or to achieve a certain goal. Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) also offers an excellent opportunity for restorative environments research, which examines how our physical environment (especially nature) can positively influence health and wellbeing. It enables investigating restorative health effects in everyday life, providing not only high ecological validity but also opportunities to study in more detail the dynamic processes playing out over time on recovery, thereby bridging the gap between laboratory (i.e., short-term effects) and epidemiological (long-term effects) research. We have identified four main areas in which self-tracking could help advance restoration research: (1) capturing a rich set of environment types and restorative characteristics; (2) distinguishing intra-individual from inter-individual effects; (3) bridging the gap between laboratory and epidemiological research; and (4) advancing theoretical insights by measuring a more broad range of effects in everyday life. This paper briefly introduces restorative environments research, then reviews the state of the art of self-tracking technologies and methodologies, discusses how these can be implemented to advance restoration research, and presents some examples of pioneering work in this area. View Full-Text
Keywords: restoration; nature; experience sampling; quantified self; mHealth restoration; nature; experience sampling; quantified self; mHealth
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Beute, F.; de Kort, Y.; IJsselsteijn, W. Restoration in Its Natural Context: How Ecological Momentary Assessment Can Advance Restoration Research. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 420.

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