Next Article in Journal
A Comparison of the Health Effects of Ambient Particulate Matter Air Pollution from Five Emission Sources
Next Article in Special Issue
Outcomes of a Randomized Controlled Trial on the Effectiveness of Depression and Anxiety Prevention for Adolescents with a High Familial Risk
Previous Article in Journal
A Critical Review of the Use of Virtual Reality in Construction Engineering Education and Training
Previous Article in Special Issue
Emotional Intelligence and Its Relationship with Levels of Social Anxiety and Stress in Adolescents
Article Menu
Issue 6 (June) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

Reloading Pupils’ Batteries: Impact of Green Spaces on Cognition and Wellbeing

Department of Environmental Health, Center for Public Health, Medical University Vienna, Kinderspitalgasse 15, 1090 Vienna, Austria
Institute of Landscape Development, Recreation and Conservation Planning, Department of Landscape, Spatial and Infrastructure Sciences, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Peter-Jordan-Straße 82/I, 1190 Vienna, Austria
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(6), 1205;
Received: 12 April 2018 / Revised: 5 June 2018 / Accepted: 6 June 2018 / Published: 8 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress, Coping, and Resilience in Adolescents)
PDF [1359 KB, uploaded 8 June 2018]


Cognitive functioning and academic performance of pupils depend on regular breaks from classroom work. However, it is unclear which settings during such breaks provide the best environment to restore cognitive performance and promote wellbeing of adolescent pupils. Therefore, we investigated the effects of staying in different urban green spaces during breaks. Sixty-four pupils (16–18 years old) participated in a cross-over experiment. They were placed into one of three settings (small park, larger park, forest) for one hour during a lunch break. Wellbeing was assessed four times (Nitsch scale), and a cognitive test (d2-R Test of Attention) was applied in the classrooms before and after the break. Wellbeing was almost always highest after the stay in the green spaces. However, a sustained effect was only found for the forest. Concentration performance values of the d2-R test were significantly higher after the pupils’ stay in green spaces for all sites. The highest increase of performance was found for the larger park type. In conclusion, this pilot study showed that study breaks in green spaces improved wellbeing and cognitive performance of adolescents. It also found that larger green spaces, either parks or forests, have stronger positive impacts on wellbeing and cognitive performance than small parks. View Full-Text
Keywords: green spaces; park; forest; pupils; adolescents; school; break; cognition; d2 test; wellbeing green spaces; park; forest; pupils; adolescents; school; break; cognition; d2 test; wellbeing

Figure 1

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).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Wallner, P.; Kundi, M.; Arnberger, A.; Eder, R.; Allex, B.; Weitensfelder, L.; Hutter, H.-P. Reloading Pupils’ Batteries: Impact of Green Spaces on Cognition and Wellbeing. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1205.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top