Playground Environment Restoration Benefits
Many studies have found that a view of nature and interaction with nature (i.e., being outdoors) have restorative effects on adults, but few studies have measured that effect on children. The restorative influence of nature, playground features, and children's play experiences in educational settings were investigated in this study. Subjects were (550; students aged 8-11 years; almost equally boys and girls; from a wide range of socio-economic groups) from 14 primary school districts in Australia. The Perceived Restorative Components Scale was used to measure the four components of Attention Restoration Theory (ART), which includes being away (physically or psychologically), compatibility (with purpose), fascination (cognitive or social), and intent (scope and connectedness). Each playground was observed and rated for naturalness and children completed pre- and post-play measures, which were then compared.
Effects of Informal Learning Space Acoustics on College Students
Acoustics significantly affect students' cognitive performance in learning. Acoustical and environmental features in informal learning areas and how they affected college students' (n=850) perceived well-being and suitability as learning spaces were examined in this study. Non-classroom, informal learning spaces (23) at a Canadian university were explored. They included cafes and cafeterias, libraries, atrium spaces, lobbies, and lounges. Physical attributes of the sound (sound level and reverberation) and environmental attributes (size of spaces, density, materiality, daylighting, windows, and vegetation) were analyzed through physical measurements and students' perceptions of suitability of the spaces. Well-being measures included stress, distraction, fatigue, relaxation, and productivity.