Environmental Influence on Holistic Health Measures

Principal Investigator:  Kurt Beil, ND, LAc, MPH

This study examines the effects of different environmental settings on objective and subjective measures of physical and mental well-being.  Participants (n=30) are taken for one hour per week to one of three different environmental settings: 1) Forested nature park, 2) Urban built plaza, and 3) Indoor windowless auditorium.  One setting is visited per week, for three successive weeks; the setting visitation order is randomized individually.  Participants are asked to sit quietly in each setting and observe their surroundings while data is collected.

Primary outcome measures (salivary Cortisol, Alpha-amylase & Immunoglobulin AA) are collected pre- and post-environmental setting exposure.  Secondary outcome measures include pre- and post-exposure affective (POMS, SVS) and cognitive (DSB) questionnaires.  Exploratory measures (i.e. salivary Chromogranin A) are also collected pre- and post-exposure.  Potential co-factors including environmental identity (EID), perceived stress (PSS), perceived restorativeness (PRS) and environmental aesthetics (EAAS) will be assessed.  Objective (i.e. Ambient Light, Noise, Temperature, Humidity) and Subjective (i.e. Focus Group discussion) information about each environmental setting will be gathered.

Link to paper: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24607078