Vitalizing effects of being outdoors and in nature

Richard M. Ryan, Netta Weinstein, Jessey Bernstein, Kirk Warren Brown, Louis Mistretta, Marylène Gagné

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

328 Scopus citations

Abstract

Five studies utilizing survey, experimental, and diary methods assessed the effects of being outdoors on subjective vitality. In Study 1, we used a vignette method to examine whether being outdoors was associated with vitality, above and beyond the influences of physical activity and social interactions. Study 2 explored the effects of being outdoors on vitality through an experimental design contrasting indoor and outdoor walks. In Study 3, participants were exposed to photographic scenes of either nature or buildings. Results showed that only the nature scenes enhanced subjective vitality. Studies 4 and 5 used a diary methodology to examine within-person variations in subjective energy as a function of being outdoors, again controlling for physical and social activity. Being outdoors was associated with greater vitality, a relation that was mediated by the presence of natural elements. Limitations of these studies are discussed, as well as their implications for research on energy and vitalization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-168
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Environmental Psychology
Volume30
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2010

Keywords

  • Energy
  • Nature
  • Restoration
  • Vitality

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