ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Add a little color to your world for enhanced well being

How your city or town looks influences your stress level and well being. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams shares details of a study that explores how a city that has color — even if its virtual — may be good for your health.

Urban sculpture in Maine
Sculptures and greenery in urban places may boost health
We are part of The Trust Project.

ROCHESTER — Imagine two urban environments. One is noisy with traffic congestion clogging streets between big, gray buildings. In this setting, it's no wonder city living can be bad for your health.

The second city has the same amount of cars and people, but the buildings are more colorful and the avenues are lined with trees and vegetation. Does the addition of these elements improve your well being?

Results of a study from France, published in the journal Frontiers in Virtual Reality show that adding color and interesting things to look at — even just in virtual reality — does promote well being for urban dwellers.

The researchers created different virtual reality cities. They found that people in the colorful and interesting urban environment had more pleasurable experiences. Study participants walked more slowly, their heart rates went up (indicating a pleasurable reaction) and they were more alert and curious.

But when in a virtual drab city, people didn't have the positive responses.

ADVERTISEMENT

The researchers say their results show virtual reality could be a tool for urban designers to test ideas. And that their study adds support to the notion that urban planners could help boost people's mental and physical well being by incorporating vegetation and interesting elements into the city environment.

Health_Fusion-1400x1400.jpg

Follow the  Health Fusion podcast on  Apple,   Spotify and  Google podcasts. For comments or other podcast episode ideas, email Viv Williams at  vwilliams@newsmd.com. Or on Twitter/Instagram/FB @vivwilliamstv.

MORE HEALTH FUSION:
Leafy greens are popping in area gardens. If you're not a big fan of kale, but still want the nutritional benefit, try adding some to a smoothie. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams shares a favorite green smoothie recipe that even some of the most kale-adverse people will like. Honest!

What to read next
Experts warn that simply claiming the benefits may create paper trails for law enforcement officials in states criminalizing abortion. That will complicate life for the dozens of corporations promising to protect, or even expand, the abortion benefits for employees and their dependents.
In Minnesota, abortion is protected by the state’s constitution and is legal up to the point of viability, which is generally thought to begin at about 24 weeks, when the fetus can survive outside the womb. Those who work with Minnesotans who seek abortions say barriers, both legal and practical, forced some to travel to Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin even prior to the Supreme Court’s decision.
"Minding Our Elders" columnist says it's important to remember that we can't "fix" aging for our parents, but we can listen with empathy and validate their feelings.
“It’s clear that monkeypox has come to Minnesota,” said state Epidemiologist Dr. Ruth Lynfield. “While our current cases are associated with travel outside Minnesota, we expect we will soon see cases among people who have no travel history or contact with someone who did, indicating that spread within social networks in Minnesota is occurring.”