Window view of nature after brief exercise improves choice reaction time and heart rate restoration
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Research indicates that natural environments induce restorative effects on cognitive capacity and autonomic arousal. The present study investigates differences in choice reaction time (CRT) and heart rate responses in students (n = 9) resting with or without a window view of a modest natural environment after a physical exertion. Subjects performed a CRT-task before pedaling a spinning bike, followed by resting in a chair with either a window view of a natural environment, or no view. Heart rate was obtained during the rest-period, and the CRT task was performed again immediately after resting. Results indicated that subjects elicited significantly larger improvement in CRTs and more efficient heart rate restoration after resting with a window view, compared to resting without a view. Resting with a modest view of a natural environment after brief exercise demonstrated both a greater effect of cognitive enhancement and more efficient physiological restoration compared to resting without a view. These findings advance prior research by demonstrating both cognitive and physiological benefits from resting in a modest natural environment.