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Behav. Sci. 2014, 4(4), 394-409; doi:10.3390/bs4040394

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

Department of Education, Philosophy and Psychology, University of Verona, via San Francesco 33, 37129 Verona, Italy
Received: 21 July 2014 / Revised: 27 September 2014 / Accepted: 10 October 2014 / Published: 21 October 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Environmental Psychology)
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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. View Full-Text
Keywords: stress; coping strategy; restorative environments; stress recovery; attention restoration; Perceived Restorativeness Scale; urban green stress; coping strategy; restorative environments; stress recovery; attention restoration; Perceived Restorativeness Scale; urban green
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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Berto, R. The Role of Nature in Coping with Psycho-Physiological Stress: A Literature Review on Restorativeness. Behav. Sci. 2014, 4, 394-409.

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