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Can Residential Greenspace Exposure Improve Pain Experience? A Comparison between Physical Visit and Image Viewing
Institute of Sports Science, College of Physical Education, Southwest University, Chongqing, China.
Department of Basketball and Volleyball, Chengdu Sport University, Chengdu, China.
National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Singapore.
Örebro University, School of Medical Sciences. Örebro University Hospital. Unit of Integrative Epidemiology, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. (Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3552-9153
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2021 (English)In: Healthcare, E-ISSN 2227-9032, Vol. 9, no 7, article id 918Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Reducing the burden of pain via greenspace exposure is a rising research topic. However, insufficient evidence has been found in relation to the environmental effect itself. Residential greenspace, as a convenient but limited natural environment for urban dwellers, has benefits and services yet to be discovered. Therefore, the current study recruited 24 young adults to evaluate the effects of physical visit to, or image viewing of, residential greenspace on pain perception and related psychophysiological outcomes, via simulated pain. Pain threshold and tolerance were recorded via the level of pain stimuli, and pain intensity was evaluated using the Visual Analog Scale (VAS). The state scale of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI-S) and two adjective pairs were employed to measure the state anxiety and subjective stress, respectively. Meanwhile, heart rate (HR), heart rate variability (HRV), and blood pressure (BP) were measured to investigate physiological responses. Besides, Scenic Beauty Estimation (SBE) was also employed to assess participants' preference regarding the experimental environments. The results revealed that visiting the greenspace significantly increased the pain threshold and tolerance, while no significant effect was observed for image viewing. On the other hand, no significant difference was observed in pain-related psychophysiological indices between the experimental settings, but significantly negative associations were found between the scores of SBE and subjective stress and state anxiety. In conclusion, the current study brings experimental evidence of improving pain experience via residential greenspace exposure, while the related psychophysiological benefits require further investigation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI, 2021. Vol. 9, no 7, article id 918
Keywords [en]
Experimental pain, nature exposure, pain, residential greenspace, urban greenspace
National Category
Occupational Health and Environmental Health
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-93507DOI: 10.3390/healthcare9070918ISI: 000676652400001PubMedID: 34356296Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85111920462OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-93507DiVA, id: diva2:1583977
Note

Funding agency:

Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities SWU1909025

Available from: 2021-08-10 Created: 2021-08-10 Last updated: 2021-08-17Bibliographically approved

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