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Journal article

Urban mind: Using smartphone technologies to investigate the impact of nature on mental well-being in real time

10 Jan 2018
Description

Existing evidence on the beneficial effects of nature on mental health comes from studies using cross-sectional designs. We developed a smartphone-based tool (Urban Mind; www.urbanmind.info) to examine how exposure to natural features within the built environment affects mental well-being in real time. The tool was used to monitor 108 individuals who completed 3013 assessments over a 1-week period. Significant immediate and lagged associations with mental well-being were found for several natural features. These associations were stronger in people with higher trait impulsivity, a psychological measure of one's tendency to behave with little forethought or consideration of the consequences, which is indicative of a higher risk of developing mental-health issues. Our investigation suggests that the benefits of nature on mental well-being are time-lasting and interact with an individual's vulnerability to mental illness. These findings have potential implications from the perspectives of global mental health as well as urban planning and design.

Publication Details
Identifiers: 
DOI: 
10.1093/biosci/bix149
Volume: 
68
Issue: 
2
Pagination: 
134–145
Language: 
License Type: 
All Rights Reserved
Peer Reviewed: 
Yes
Published year only: 
2018
15
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