Credentials Display

Amy Wagenfeld, PhD, OTR/L, SCEM, FAOTA; Sandra Schefkind, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA; Nancy Hock, MS, OTRL, CHT


Background: Interaction with occupation-centered activities, such as gardening, is associated with improved mental health. With limited evidence supporting the effects of short-term nature-based interventions on employees’ emotional states, the purpose of this research was to understand the impact of a one-time, short-term nature-based intervention on the emotional state of employees at an urban office building.

Method: This pretest/posttest design study used a visual analogue emoticon assessment tool, the Interaction with Nature scale, to measure differences in the participants’ emotional states before and after participating in a planting activity. Twenty-two participants engaged in the study. Each participant potted a succulent plant to display in the participant’s workspace.

Results: Quantitative results indicate with statistical significance that the participants were happier (t(21) = 7.1, p = .001; rs (.535), p = .010), calmer (t(21) = 3.4, p = .003; rs (.486), p = .022), and more hopeful (t(21) = 2.9, p = .009; rs (.634), p = .002) after the intervention than before the intervention.

Conclusion: Findings suggest that a short-term, occupation-centered nature intervention can improve emotional state. Nature-based interventions may help to increase social interactions among staff and contribute to making a positive impact on the office workplace social context. Determining how occupation-centered nature interventions can improve emotional status and social relationships is important to consider, along with any potential implications for workforce performance.


The authors report that they have no conflicts of interest to disclose.