This study investigated how contact with nature benefitted well-being during a strict lockdown. The study took place in Israel during the last week of the first COVID-19 lockdown, when citizens were restricted to remain within 100 m of home. A survey company distributed questionnaires among 776 individuals. The questionnaires included demographic variables (gender, ethnic and cultural groups, age, income loss due to the pandemic), contact with nature variables (Nature near home, Nature viewed from home windows, and being in nature on the preceding day), and well-being measures (positive affect, negative affect, vitality, happiness, and stress). Before completing the well-being questionnaire, participants took part in an experiment that tested the effect of viewing nature images or urban images on well-being measures. The results showed that nature near home and nature viewed from the windows contributed to higher levels of well-being, and that being in nature on the preceding day was associated with higher levels of positive affect. These benefits emerged even among those who had been economically harmed by the pandemic. Viewing nature images was also associated with level of well-being, mainly to reduced level of stress and negative affect. The current findings extend the understanding of the benefits of access to nature during stressful times, particularly during emergencies when accessing remote nature is impossible. Furthermore, the findings highlight the dual effect of contact with nature on well-being: enhancement of positive affect together with reduction of negative affect and stress. The findings indicate that exposure to nature is much more valuable for women than for men. These findings are highly important in view of gender differences in pandemic's impact on people's well-being.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The study was funded by Israel Ministry of Science and Technology , special funding call Corona Virus call 2020.
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- Contact with nature
- Covid-19 pandemic
- Emotional well-being
- Nature near home
- Nature viewed from the windows
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Applied Psychology