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Title: Nature in virtual reality improves mood and reduces stress : evidence from young adults and senior citizens
Authors: Chan, Sarah Hian May
Qiu, Lin
Esposito, Gianluca
Mai, Ky Phong
Tam, Kim-Pong
Cui, Jian
Keywords: Social sciences::Psychology
Issue Date: 2021
Source: Chan, S. H. M., Qiu, L., Esposito, G., Mai, K. P., Tam, K. & Cui, J. (2021). Nature in virtual reality improves mood and reduces stress : evidence from young adults and senior citizens. Virtual Reality.
Project: RG83/17
Journal: Virtual Reality
Abstract: Large populations worldwide have been deprived from nature experiences due to mass quarantines and lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic, and face a looming mental health crisis. Virtual reality offers a safe and practical solution to increase nature exposure. This research examined the effects of virtual nature using a within-subject design with young adults (Study 1) and senior citizens (Study 2). Results from the young adult sample showed that walking in a virtual forest reduced negative affect due to enhanced nature connectedness, and reduced stress measured by heart rate. Consistently, the senior citizen sample reported improved positive affect due to enhanced nature connectedness after the virtual nature walk. Our findings unveil the underlying mechanism of how virtual nature may improve psychological well-being and demonstrated how virtual nature can be used as an intervention to promote mental health.
ISSN: 1359-4338
DOI: 10.1007/s10055-021-00604-4
Rights: © 2021 The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Virtual Reality. The final authenticated version is available online at:
Fulltext Permission: embargo_20221203
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:IGS Journal Articles
SSS Journal Articles

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