Research Studies Rational Minds
A lot of generalisations and references are made regarding the benefits of nature and soothing artwork.
It took us some time, and the help of an amazing New York Architect and Feng Shui expert Alex Stark to track down some real evidence. The results are clear:
Viewing nature reduces stress and makes people feel better, quicker.
A few studies of patient reactions to different types of art have yielded additional evidence to the positive influences of natures.
(For surveys of studies see Ulrich 1991, 1999)
"The great majority of patients prefer representational art depicting serene, spatially open natural environments having scattered trees and / or non-turbulent water features - but constantly dislike abstract art."
University of Minnesota
In America, extensive research regarding the benefits of nature and nature pictures in the recovery process for patients in healthcare has been carried out by Roger Ulrich. The bottom line is that viewing nature reduces stress and makes people feel better, quicker.
A Theory of Supportive Design
"A basic premise underlying the Theory of Supportive Design is that the potential for environments to promote improved outcomes is linked to their effectiveness in facilitating stress reduction, coping and restoration."
(Ulrich 1991, 1997, 1999)
Several studies of non-patient groups (such as university students) as well as patients have consistently indicated that simply viewing nature can produce significant recovery or restoration from stress within about three to five minutes. (Ulrich 1999) For persons experiencing anxiety or stress, studies indicate that certain types of nature scenes change physiological systems for instance, lower blood pressure (Urlich et al., 1991).
A limited amount of healthcare research suggests that even acutely stressed patients can experience significant lessening of stress after only a few minutes of viewing nature settings with greenery, flowers, or water.