The Nature Study
About the Study
The Nature Study aims to advance knowledge of the health benefits of time spent outdoors. Our goal is to learn how early life experiences and circumstances shape attitudes toward nature engagement throughout an individual’s life and potential connections to health outcomes.
This initiative began with researchers at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health (HSPH) conducting informal focus groups sessions across the U.S. These groups explored how individuals think of nature, how their ideas and experiences shape nature-affinity, and how time in nature differs by geography, personal preferences, and demographics.
This phase of research will investigate how long short-term changes in cognition, creativity, and mood change remain after spending time in nature. Your participation will take place entirely on an app we’ve developed to capture ecological momentary assessments—in other words, instantaneous responses—following nature immersion.
Whether or not you are an outdoor enthusiast or want to try a new experience in nature, we invite you to take part in this research. Please find below additional information about our study and register by clicking on the button below.
What do I need to do as a study participant?
Participants will engage in two study components:
1) Completing two short surveys related to experiences in and attitudes toward nature of approximately 5 minutes each, to be taken before and one after time in nature.
2) Completing a series of short mental tasks 3x a day for two days prior to going out in nature, and 3x day for 3 consecutive days following return from nature.
Participants will NOT be asked to complete any study tasks during their time in nature, as we know disconnecting from technology is a main attraction of the outdoors.
Who is invited to participate?
Everyone that meets the eligibility criteria (see above). And we would encourage you to invite friends and family to join in. We only need you to go out in nature—anywhere from a walk around your neighborhood to a vacation away. Length of time outdoors is of interest to us, so vary it up.
Who is eligible to participate?
Participants are eligible if they are 18 years of age or older and not diagnosed with color-blindness to be able to complete a color-word cognitive test.
How do I consent to participate in the study?
The consent form saying you freely agree to participate in this research can be found under the "Consent Form" tab in the top menu. This form will also be given to you upon study enrollment.
How will the privacy of my study results be maintained?
Individual participant data will be de-identified by name at the beginning of this study, nor will be participant identity be used in subsequent research articles or publications. There will be no direct interaction between researchers and study participants other than initial training to participate in the study.
What will happen with the information generated from my study participation?
Your participation will generate response to inform scientific research measuring the duration of health outcomes which result from nature contact.
Will my time to participate in a focus group be compensated?
How do I get started?
Just click the register now button at the top of this page. If you are over 18, not color-blind, and among early respondents, you will receive an individual email inviting you into the pilot study to test our app in summer 2021. All others who register for this study will have the opportunity to participate in the full study beginning September 2021
Have any other questions?
Contact the study manager at email@example.com