Nature experiences and life satisfaction

Chang, C-C., Oh, R.R.Y., Nghiem, T.P.L., Zhang, Y., Tan, C.L.Y., Lin, B.B., Gaston, K.J., Fuller, R.A. & Carrasco, L.R. 2020. Life satisfaction linked to the diversity of nature experiences and nature views from the window. Landscape and Urban Planning 202, 103874.

The effects of nature interactions on multiple aspects of human subjective wellbeing are increasingly well understood. Although nature experience has been shown to be positively associated with life satisfaction, it remains unknown whether the diversity of nature experiences contributes to increased life satisfaction and whether the relationship is mediated by a person’s strength of connection with nature. We conducted a national survey in Singapore through online questionnaires (n = 1, 262), where we measured frequency, duration, diversity of nature experiences, and presence or absence of nature views from windows at home and at the workplace. We also measured participants’ strength of connection with nature (how strongly a person identifies with nature). We found that people who visited more diverse types of natural spaces (ranging from wild nature, managed parks, and beaches) had higher life satisfaction. The presence of nature views from windows at the home and/or at the workplace was also linked with higher life satisfaction. We also found that people with a stronger connection with nature had higher life satisfaction when they spent more than one hour in natural spaces per week, while this relationship was weak for people without a strong connection with nature. Our results suggest that urban planning should aim to provide a diversity of natural spaces to increase life satisfaction.