Work & Learning

Places that incorporate or are located near nature can help remedy mental fatigue and restore one’s ability to focus on tasks. The result is better performance in the work place and school. Additionally, nearby nature provides settings for play and experiential learning activities that promote children’s cognitive, social, and moral development.

Fast Facts

  • Experience of the natural world helps restore the mind from the mental fatigue of work or studies, and can improve productivity and stimulate creativity.1, 2, 3, 4
  • College students with more natural views from their dorm windows have scored higher on tests of capacity to direct attention and rate themselves as able to function more effectively.5
  • Office workers report that plants make a more attractive, pleasant, and healthy work environment.6, 7 Having views of plants from the workstation have been shown to decrease illness incidence, and the amount of self-reported sick leave.8, 9
  • In studies of lower income households the greenness of a young person’s home or window views positively impacted cognitive functioning, ability to concentrate, and self-discipline.10, 11, 12

More information later . . . .



1. Kaplan, R, and S Kaplan. 1989. The Experience of Nature: A Psychological Perspective. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, New York.

2. Berto, R, MR Baroni, A Zainaghi, and S Bettella. 2010. An Exploratory Study of the Effect of High and Low Fascination Environments on Attentional Fatigue. Journal of Environmental Psychology 30, 4:494-500.

3. Lohr, V I, CH Pearson-Mims, and GK Goodwin. 1996. Interior Plants May Improve Worker Productivity and Reduce Stress in a Windowless Environment. Journal of Environmental Horticulture 14:97-100.

4. Shibata, S, and N Suzuki. 2002. Effects of the Foliage Plant On Task Performance and Mood. Journal of Environmental Psychology 22:265-272.

5. Tennessen, CM, and B Cimprich. 1995. Views to Nature: Effects on Attention. Journal of Environmental Psychology 15, 1:77-85.

6. Grinde, B, and GG Patil. 2009. Biophilia: Does Visual Contact With Nature Impact on Health and Well-Being? International Journal Of Environmental Research and Public Health 6:2332-343.

7. Bringslimark, T, T Hartig, and GG Patil. 2007. Psychological Benefits of Indoor Plants in Workplaces: Putting Experimental Results Into Context. Hortscience 42, 3:581-87.

8. Fjeld, T, B Veiersted, L Sandvik, G Riise, and F Levy. 1998. The Effect of Indoor Foliage Plants on Health and Discomfort Symptoms Among Office Workers. Indoor and Built Environment 7, 4:204.

9. Kaplan, R. 1993. The Role of Nature in the Context of the Workplace. Landscape and Urban Planning 26, 1-4:193-201.

10. Taylor, AF, FE Kuo, and WC Sullivan. 2002. Views of Nature and Self-Discipline: Evidence From Inner City Children. Journal of Environmental Psychology 22, 1-2:49-63.

11. Wells, NM. 2000. At Home With Nature: Effects of “Greenness” on Children’s Cognitive Functioning. Environment and Behavior 32, 6:775-795.

12. Kaplan, R. 2001. The Nature of the View From Home: Psychological Benefits. Environment and Behavior 33, 4:507-542.


credit: Margaret Bourke-White, Lunch Atop a Skyscraper, c. 1932

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