The impact of nature exposure on body image and happiness: an experience sampling study

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Exposure to nature is associated with improved psychological well-being and positive body image. Here, we examined whether everyday exposure to natural environments is associated with state body image outcomes (and, for comparative reasons, state happiness) using an experience sampling method. One-hundred-and-seven participants completed a 30-day experience sampling phase in which they reported their state body image (body weight, body shape, and physical appearance satisfaction), state happiness, and features of the surrounding environment (total = 6,025 responses) at three random time-points each day. Results indicated that being outdoors was associated with significantly higher state body image on all three indicators, but effect sizes were lower compared to effects on state happiness. Specific environment type was also important, with blue-spaces and wood- and grasslands, respectively, having stronger effects than other environments. These results provide evidence that everyday exposure to natural environments is associated with more positive state body image and greater happiness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)870-884
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Health Research
Volume32
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

Keywords

  • Body Image/psychology
  • Body Weight
  • Ecological Momentary Assessment
  • Happiness
  • Humans
  • Personal Satisfaction

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