Document Detail

The effects of views of nature on autonomic control.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22270487     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Previously studies have shown that nature improves mood and self-esteem and reduces blood pressure. Walking within a natural environment has been suggested to alter autonomic nervous system control, but the mechanisms are not fully understood. Heart rate variability (HRV) is a non-invasive method of assessing autonomic control and can give an insight into vagal modulation. Our hypothesis was that viewing nature alone within a controlled laboratory environment would induce higher levels of HRV as compared to built scenes. Heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP) were measured during viewing different scenes in a controlled environment. HRV was used to investigate alterations in autonomic activity, specifically parasympathetic activity. Each participant lay in the semi-supine position in a laboratory while we recorded 5 min (n = 29) of ECG, BP and respiration as they viewed two collections of slides (one containing nature views and the other built scenes). During viewing of nature, markers of parasympathetic activity were increased in both studies. Root mean squared of successive differences increased 4.2 ± 7.7 ms (t = 2.9, p = 0.008) and natural logarithm of high frequency increased 0.19 ± 0.36 ms(2) Hz(-1) (t = 2.9, p = 0.007) as compared to built scenes. Mean HR and BP were not significantly altered. This study provides evidence that autonomic control of the heart is altered by the simple act of just viewing natural scenes with an increase in vagal activity.
V F Gladwell; D K Brown; J L Barton; M P Tarvainen; P Kuoppa; J Pretty; J M Suddaby; G R H Sandercock
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2012-01-21
Journal Detail:
Title:  European journal of applied physiology     Volume:  112     ISSN:  1439-6327     ISO Abbreviation:  Eur. J. Appl. Physiol.     Publication Date:  2012 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-08-14     Completed Date:  2013-01-10     Revised Date:  2014-02-20    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  100954790     Medline TA:  Eur J Appl Physiol     Country:  Germany    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  3379-86     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Autonomic Nervous System / physiology*
Blood Pressure / physiology
Cross-Over Studies
Heart Rate / physiology
Middle Aged
Ocular Physiological Phenomena*
Grant Support
FS/10/32/28204//British Heart Foundation

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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