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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(3), 1036-1046; doi:10.3390/ijerph7031036

Stress Recovery during Exposure to Nature Sound and Environmental Noise

Gösta Ekman Laboratory, Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
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Received: 26 January 2010 / Revised: 20 February 2010 / Accepted: 5 March 2010 / Published: 11 March 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Noise and Quality of Life)
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Abstract

Research suggests that visual impressions of natural compared with urban environments facilitate recovery after psychological stress. To test whether auditory stimulation has similar effects, 40 subjects were exposed to sounds from nature or noisy environments after a stressful mental arithmetic task. Skin conductance level (SCL) was used to index sympathetic activation, and high frequency heart rate variability (HF HRV) was used to index parasympathetic activation. Although HF HRV showed no effects, SCL recovery tended to be faster during natural sound than noisy environments. These results suggest that nature sounds facilitate recovery from sympathetic activation after a psychological stressor. View Full-Text
Keywords: soundscape; nature sounds; environmental noise; skin conductance level; heart rate variability; stress recovery soundscape; nature sounds; environmental noise; skin conductance level; heart rate variability; stress recovery
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Alvarsson, J.J.; Wiens, S.; Nilsson, M.E. Stress Recovery during Exposure to Nature Sound and Environmental Noise. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7, 1036-1046.

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