Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture 24.1 - 2014


Influences of Green Exercise on School Adaptation of Autistic Children in Taiwan
Ke-Tsung Han, PhD

The purpose of this study was to explore how green exercise—operationalized as exposure to the natural environment and a metabolic equivalent of physical activity—influenced the behaviors, adaptation, and symptoms of autistic children over a relatively long period of time. This study adopted a quasi-experimental design with 24 children living in Taichung and Changhua, Taiwan as the subjects. The treatment was to bring the subjects to natural environments for physical activity. The subjects’ parents, school teachers, and special education teachers evaluated the subjects’ functions using the Aberrant Behavior Checklist, the Autistic Children’s School Adaptation Scale, and the Clinical Global Impression for six time units, each of which covered four weeks. The treatment was carried out intermittently across the six time units. The results of two factor analyses of covariance showed that green exercise was helpful for the autistic children’s school adaptation and that the frequency of the exposure to the natural environment and the metabolic equivalent of the physical activity had a complementary interaction with the autistic children’s functions. Green exercise might be an alternative avenue to improve the adaptation capability of the autistic child.

The Impact of Plants and Windows on Building Space Usage and Perceived Stress of University Students
Cole L. Etheredge, Tina M. Waliczek, Jayne M. Zajicek

The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of plants and windows on building space usage and perceived stress of university students. Multiple interiorscapes within campus buildings were used with an assortment of interior plants selected by their aesthetic features, durability, and light and water requirements. Plants were rotated into and out of the interiorscape study sites on a two-week schedule. Observations were taken approximately weekly to tally the location and number of people active in each of the study areas and the type of activities in which they were participating. Stress inventories were administered every week to those whom were active in test sites. The study found people communicated more and were more likely to sit in areas with windows compared to areas with no windows. With the exception of gender comparisons, there were no differences in demographic comparisons, which indicated people of various backgrounds were equally drawn to each type of study area, and no group was more positively nor negatively affected by the study environments. However, in comparisons of gender, females tended to be drawn to areas with windows while males appeared to be drawn to areas with plants in greater numbers, seemingly finding plants to be suitable substitutes for windows.