Restoration in a virtual reality forest environment

Osmo Mattila*, Arto Korhonen, Essi Pöyry, Kaisa Hauru, Jani Holopainen, Petri Parvinen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The focus in this research was on the effects of restorative experiences in an immersive virtual reality (VR) forest environment. For 5 min one hundred participants used a VR application depicting a forest via a head-mounted display and headphones. The extent of the restorative effect on the participants was measured in terms of perceived restorative outcomes, vitality, and mood before and after using the VR application. After finding out that using the VR application improved the perceived restoration outcomes, vitality and mood of the participants, the perceived restoration of the VR environment was compared with experiences in physical forests. According to the results, the VR environment was generally perceived as restorative as the physical forest environments, and more fascinating and coherent. The results imply that VR technology could have an effective restorative function during a school or work day when there is no access to highly restorative natural environments. Knowledge about the restorative qualities of physical and virtual natural environments could be applied to develop both the virtual and physical environments that are currently available and where people have access to.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106295
Number of pages9
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume107
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Forest
  • Immersion
  • Restoration
  • Virtual reality

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