The impact of walking environment and connectedness to nature, mindfulness and empathy: A comparison of natural and urban locations

Conference Presentation


Birdsall, Kerry and Harvey, Caroline 2016. The impact of walking environment and connectedness to nature, mindfulness and empathy: A comparison of natural and urban locations.
AuthorsBirdsall, Kerry and Harvey, Caroline
TypeConference Presentation
Abstract

Immersion in nature has been demonstrated to improve health and well-being, and has also been found to increase measures of trait nature connectedness. However, the effect of such an environment on other personality traits remains in question. An experiment was conducted to examine the effect of urban and natural walking environments and time on measures of nature connectedness, mindfulness, cognitive empathy and affective empathy. Participants (N=44) conducted a thirty-minute walk on three consecutive days and measures of the dependent variables were taken pre and post intervention. A series of factorial mixed design ANOVAs were used to assess the impact of walking in urban and rural environments on the dependent variables. The results indicated that walking in a natural environment significantly increased nature connectedness, mindfulness and cognitive empathy over time but did not have a significant main effect on affective empathy. This research highlights the potential of interventions involving walking in natural environments for positive psychological outcomes in terms of the enhancement of desirable personality traits.

Immersion in nature has been demonstrated to improve health and well-being, and has also been found to increase measures of trait nature connectedness. However, the effect of such an environment on other personality traits remains in question. An experiment was conducted to examine the effect of urban and natural walking environments and time on measures of nature connectedness, mindfulness, cognitive empathy and affective empathy. Participants (N=44) conducted a thirty-minute walk on three consecutive days and measures of the dependent variables were taken pre and post intervention. A series of factorial mixed design ANOVAs were used to assess the impact of walking in urban and rural environments on the dependent variables. The results indicated that walking in a natural environment significantly increased nature connectedness, mindfulness and cognitive empathy over time but did not have a significant main effect on affective empathy. This research highlights the potential of interventions involving walking in natural environments for positive psychological outcomes in terms of the enhancement of desirable personality traits.

KeywordsWalking environment; Nature connection; Mindfulness; Empathy
Year2016
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10545/621161
hdl:10545/621161
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File Access Level
Open
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File Access Level
Open
Publication dates10 Sep 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited15 Dec 2016, 09:10
ContributorsUniversity of Derby
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https://repository.derby.ac.uk/item/93xy8/the-impact-of-walking-environment-and-connectedness-to-nature-mindfulness-and-empathy-a-comparison-of-natural-and-urban-locations

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