The negative effects of the urban situation on human well-being are well documented, contribute to stress, weaken coping skills, and evoke a negative self-appraisal from residents continually surrounded by bleak settings (Stainbrook, 1973). The following research suggests that urban residents may visit public gardens as a means of coping with the stresses of city life. Results of a survey of urban visitors to two urban public gardens indicate that stress reduction is an important reason for visiting the gardens. The research also indicates a trend of reduced levels of self-perceived stress after a garden visit.
Ellen Sullivan Bennett and James E. Swasey
Jemma L. Hawkins, Kathryn J. Thirlaway, Karianne Backx, and Deborah A. Clayton
psychophysiological stress reduction ( van den Berg et al., 2010b ). It has been argued that green exercise may buffer against the effects of stress on physical and psychological health outcomes ( van den Berg et al., 2007 , 2010b ). A recent empirical study from the
Yen-Cheng Chiang and Pei-Yi Weng
the ART ( Ohly et al., 2016 ). SRT explains emotional and physiological responses to natural spaces that facilitate stress reduction ( Ulrich et al., 1991 ). When people are in contact with nature, their attention is redirected to the landscape such
Cammie K. Coleman and Richard K. Mattson
Twelve 20-minute thermal biofeedback sessions were conducted with 26 university students. Visual stimuli were provided by a living foliage plant, a life-sized color photograph of that plant, or a metal stool (control). Of the participants, 38% responded positively to the presence of a live plant or plant photograph, while 23% showed lower stress in the control room. Stress reduction, as indicated by higher skin temperatures, occurred within the first 5 to 8 minutes of a 20-minute thermal-biofeedback session. A nonplant visual stimulus was not part of the experiment. The results are not intended as comparative, nor do they attribute unique or superior effects to plants. Due to the small number of participants, no significant results were obtained, but the trends were important and are being reported to help further research in this area.
Tina M. Waliczek, R.D. Lineberger, J.M. Zajicek, and J.C. Bradley
A survey, targeting adults working with youth in garden situations, was designed for delivery on the KinderGARDEN World Wide Web site. The goal of this survey was to investigate adults who are actively involved in gardening with children in school, community or home gardens on their perceptions of the benefits of children participating in gardening. Three hundred-twenty completed surveys were returned via e-mail during a period of 9 months. Fourteen questions were included on the survey requesting information concerning what types of gardening situations in which children were participants and the demographics of the children involved in gardening. Results of the study cover 128,836 children (youth under 18 years old) involved in gardening, primarily with teachers in school gardens. The children involved were generally 12 years of age or under and were growing food crops. Adults gardening with children reported benefits to children's self-esteem and reduction in stress levels. Adults were also interested in learning more about the psychological, nutritional and physical benefits of gardening. Comparisons between those adults involved in gardening found that parents' and teachers' ideas differed concerning the most important aspects of the gardening experience. Parents viewed food production as most important while teachers thought socializing and learning about plants were most important.
Virginia I. Lohr and Paula Diane Relf
Throughout history, plants have been used to benefit people. In the United States, formal research to document the impacts of plants on people was not published until the 1970s, when papers from social and medical scientists began to appear. In the 1990s, symposia, including the first on “The Role of Horticulture in Human Well-being and Social Development,” brought people together from around the world to share and expand their knowledge in this emerging field. Symposium participants have included researchers in the social sciences and plant sciences, practitioners in horticultural therapy, teachers in colleges and public gardens, industry representatives applying the knowledge, and more. This has formed the basis for current activities in research, teaching, and practice throughout the United States. Examples from research that now documents a variety of beneficial impacts of plants on people are discussed.
Masahiro Toyoda, Yuko Yokota, Marni Barnes, and Midori Kaneko
contributed to their psychological stress reduction regardless of their age or plants choice. There were 38 positive comments in total, such as “Seeing my own plant growing was fun” or “Taking care of the plant was recreational,” including 12 comments from
A-Young Lee, Seon-Ok Kim, and Sin-Ae Park
= 400), “psychological stability and stress reduction” (20.9%, N = 236), and “leisure and hobbies” (16.2%, N = 183) ( Table 2 ). In addition to these common reasons from both genders, male students anticipated improving their “physical fitness” (14.4%, N
Tammy Kohlleppel, Jennifer Campbell Bradley, and Steve Jacob
Stress has been characterized as an epidemic and has been found to play an important role in causing many diseases. In contrast, people often seek out nature and green spaces to help cope with life stress. Botanic gardens provide opportunities for people to immerse in nature, explore their horticultural interests, and experience recreation and leisure. The literature suggests that all of these activities are effective coping strategies against life stress. This study explored the effectiveness of botanic garden visits as a coping strategy. The findings of this study suggest that botanic gardens could be a place for coping with the effects of stress. Botanic garden visitation, along with gender, stressful life events, perceived health, and selfesteem, was found to be important in explaining reported levels of depression. Data also showed that visitors who received the most benefit of stress reduction were those most needing a coping strategy.
Tammy C. Kohlleppel, Jennifer C. Bradley, and Steve Jacob
Stress has been called the epidemic of the 90s and has been found to play an important role in causing many diseases. To help cope with the stresses of life, people often seek out leisure activities and nature. Botanic gardens provide a place for experiencing recreational activities and the natural environment. Researchers at the Univ. of Florida developed a survey to gain insight into the influence of a botanic garden on visitor stress. Three botanic gardens in Florida participated in the survey of garden visitors; these included Bok Tower Gardens, Fairchild Tropical Garden, and Mounts Botanical Garden. More than 300 surveys were administered to and completed by visitors of these gardens in Apr. 1999. The survey consisted of three main sections: 1) visitor perceptions of botanic gardens, 2) visitor personal perceptions, and 3) demographic variables. A stress process model was developed that incorporated botanic gardens as a coping strategy. The relative importance of a visit to a botanic garden and other stress process factors were examined for their importance in stress reduction. Also, botanic gardens were placed in context of the stress process model with the development of a multivariate framework. The stress process model included individual factors, stressors, stress mediators, and stress outcomes. Findings from this study provided insight into the role of botanic gardens as a method to cope with the effects of stress. Results showed that a visit to a botanic garden is important in the context of the stress process model as a coping strategy. Data also showed that visitors receiving the most benefit of stress reduction were persons most needing a coping strategy, those having higher depression index scores.