Emotional Indicators of Urban Green Space Behaviour

Research Paper Title

Sitting or Walking? Analyzing the Neural Emotional Indicators of Urban Green Space Behavior with Mobile EEG.

Background

There is a close relationship between urban green space and the physical and mental health of individuals.

Most previous studies have discussed the impact of the structure of green space and its elements.

This study focused on the emotional changes caused by common behaviours in urban green space (walking and sitting).

Methods

The researchers recruited 40 college students and randomly assigned them to walking and sitting groups (20 students per group).

The two groups performed the same 8-min high-pressure learning task indoors and then performed 8-min recovery activities in a simulated urban green space (a bamboo-lawn space).

They used the Emotiv EPOC+ EEG headset to dynamically measure six neural emotional parameters:

  • ‘Engagement’;
  • ‘Valence’;
  • ‘Meditation’;
  • ‘Frustration’;
  • ‘Focus’; and
  • ‘Excitement’.

The researchers also conducted a pretest and post-test and used analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) to analyse the post-test data (with the pretest data as covariates).

Results

The results of the comparison of the two behaviours showed that the ‘valence’ and ‘meditation’ values of the walking group were higher than those of the sitting group, which suggests that walking in urban green space is more favourable for stress reduction.

The sitting group had a higher “focus” value than did the walking group, which suggests that sitting in urban green space is better for attention restoration.

Conclusions

The results of this study can provide guidance for urban green space planning and design as well as health guidance for urban residents.

Reference

Lin, W., Chen, Q., Jiang, M., Tao, J., Liu, Z., Zhang, X., Wu, L., Xu, S., Kang, Y. & Zeng, Q. (2020) Sitting or Walking? Analyzing the Neural Emotional Indicators of Urban Green Space Behavior with Mobile EEG. Journal of Urban Health. doi: 10.1007/s11524-019-00407-8. [Epub ahead of print].

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