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Experiencing the restorative components of wilderness environments: Does congestion interfere and does length of exposure matter?


Cole, David N.; Hall, Troy E. 2010. Experiencing the restorative components of wilderness environments: Does congestion interfere and does length of exposure matter? Environment and Behavior. 42(6): 806-823.

Wilderness should provide opportunities for stress reduction and restoration of mental fatigue. Visitors, surveyed as they exited wilderness trailheads, were asked for self-assessments of stress reduction and mental rejuvenation and the extent to which they experienced various restorative components of the environment-attributes deemed by attention restorative theory to be conducive to restoration. Day and overnight hikers on both very high use and moderate use trails were studied. Most respondents reported substantial stress reduction and mental rejuvenation and most experienced the environment in ways considered conducive to restoration. At the moderate to high use levels we studied, psychological restoration did not vary significantly with level of congestion, suggesting that concern about restorative experiences is not a valid rationale for limiting use on wilderness trails. Day trips reduced stress and allowed for mental rejuvenation to the same degree that overnight trips did. However, several of the restorative components of environment were experienced to a significantly greater degree as length of trip increased.

Keywords: congestion, crowding, outdoor recreation, restorative environments, wilderness


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http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs_other/rmrs_2010_cole_d002.pdf

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Title: RMRS Other Publications: Experiencing the restorative components of wilderness environments: Does congestion interfere and does length of exposure matter?
Electronic Publish Date: April 4, 2012
Last Update:
April 4, 2012

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