Greening the classroom: Three field experiments on the effects of indoor nature on students' attention, well-being, and perceived environmental quality

Nicole van den Bogerd*, S. Coosje Dijkstra, Karin Tanja-Dijkstra, Michiel R. de Boer, Jacob C. Seidell, Sander L. Koole, Jolanda Maas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Prior work has shown beneficial effects of indoor nature (e.g. potted plants, green walls) on attention, health, and well-being for various groups, including students. The aim of this paper was to examine whether these effects also emerge when students attend a single lecture in a classroom with indoor nature. Three longitudinal field experiments, conducted at a university (N = 70), secondary school (N = 213), and a secondary vocational school (N = 161), examined students’ attention, well-being, health complaints, lecture evaluation, and perceived environmental quality with attentional tests and questionnaires. Perceived environmental quality of classrooms with (rather than without) indoor nature was consistently rated more favourably. Secondary education students also reported greater attention, lecture evaluation, and teacher evaluation after one lecture in classrooms with indoor nature compared to the classroom without. There were no straightforward intervention effects on well-being and health complaints. Although this research provides some support for indoor nature in classrooms, attending only one lecture in a classroom with indoor nature does not seem to provide immediate effects on health and well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106675
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalBuilding and Environment
Volume171
Early online date22 Jan 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2020

Keywords

  • Classroom
  • Green space
  • Potted plants
  • Restorative environments
  • Wellbeing

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