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Exteroceptive influences on total mood disturbance and perceived stress during green exercise

Wooller, John-James (2019) Exteroceptive influences on total mood disturbance and perceived stress during green exercise. Masters thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

Exercise in a natural environment, termed green exercise, has repeatedly been shown through empirical research to be beneficial for psychological health. However, very little is known about the underlying cognitive mechanisms responsible for these benefits. Literature suggests that it may be an innate human connectedness to nature, and that natural environments do not require directed attention and therefore promote restoration. As the senses are used to interact with nature, this thesis set out to explore the relative contribution of sight, sound and smell to the green exercise effect. Chapter 2 found that, when presented with a choice of nature and urban images simultaneously, that participants preferred to view nature, particularly as exercise intensity increased. However, the images were not completely immersive for the participant. Therefore, a green lab was developed, described in Chapter 3, to enable the exploration of the senses of sight, sound and smell in relation to green exercise and psychological recovery. Results in Chapter 4 showed occlusion of sound had the largest detrimental effect on total mood disturbance, with smell and sight having little effect. Chapter 5 repeated Chapter 4 but addressed limitations with a modified protocol with sound removed (rather than occluded) and still reduced mood significantly. In Chapter 6, psychological stress was used to disturb mood prior to exposure to different sensory aspects of green exercise and the recovery after the stressor was explored. Results indicated that exercise with nature sounds, nature visual or exercise with both nature sounds and visual are better for recovery from an acute stressor than rest or exercise alone. Evidence provided in this thesis, highlights the contribution of the senses of sight and sound to green exercise psychological effects and the benefits of green exercise in recovery from acute psychological stress.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences, School of
Depositing User: John-James Wooller
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2019 08:51
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2019 08:51
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/25012

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