Researchers surveyed over 4,000 people to compare how various nature settings influenced cognitive restoration. Through face-to-face surveys of 4,255 people, researchers found that the type of natural setting people visit, who they go with, and the amount of time they stay influenced the amount of relaxation and rejuvenation experienced. Of four setting types, coastal areas were found to be the most restorative setting, while playgrounds and playing fields were among the least restorative, generally because these areas are experienced with children and the setting is fairly monotonous as compared to a forest setting with water. Authors argued for additional research like this in order to more specifically identify which settings people find most restorative. In the future, this information could be used to identify places for improved access, protection, or maintenance.
Read the full article here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272494413000224
White, M.P., Paul, S., Ashbullby, K., Herbert, S., & Depledge, M.H. (2013). Feelings of Restoration from Recent Nature Visits. Journal of Environmental Phychology, 35, 40-51.