Stressed? Park it public health experts will thank you – MetroNews Canada

purple flowers hanging

With increasingly stressful jobs growing each year, some researchers are looking for the best ways to decrease the stress on our bodies. Matilda van den Bosch at University of British Columbia is conducting a study in which she presents a subject with a stressful interview and then tests them in different environments to see how their stress responded. So far, her study has found that a 3D nature simulator tends to be more calming than an urban built model. They are unsure why these green spaces work so well for stress relief, but intend to do more research.

Key Takeaways:

  • Imagine being interrogated by a job interview panel of three who react with hostility or suspicion to all your answers. If that sounds stressful, then you are like the vast majority of test subjects being experimented on by University of British Columbia population and public health researcher Matilda van den Bosch.
  • She is deliberately stressing out volunteers in order to measure the calming affects of different environments, particularly natural ones.
  • But while admittedly unpleasant, it allowed her laboratory to actually measure how quickly subjects recovered from the anxiety in their nature simulator, using “biomeasures” such as participants’ levels of cortisol connected to anxiety, as well as electrocardiogram (ECG), which measures heart activity.

“The outcomes so far haven’t been a surprise to her – stressed subjects tend to be significantly more calmed when they are put in an audio-visual 3D nature simulator, than when they’re put into an urban, “built “environment.”