The effects of interior green spaces on student wellbeing and productivity on Dalhousie University's Studley Campus
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A handful of studies have explored the importance of indoor green spaces in relation to productivity and well-being. However, few studies examine indoor green spaces’ benefits on a university campus. Our group believed an influx of indoor green spaces to Dalhousie University’s (Dalhousie) Studley Campus was not only what students would want to see, but would be benefited by. With constant studying, coursework, and exams occuring, indoor green spaces could have positive effects of increasing students’ productivity and well-being. Our research project was to conduct a study in order to prove these benefits so reliable data could be available and shared for the implementation of more indoor green spaces on campus. We asked the research question “what are students’ perceptions of indoor green spaces on Dalhousie University’s Studley Campus, and how do they influence their well-being and productivity?”. To answer this question, we created a short survey through Google Forms released to the student population on Dalhousie’s and University of King’s College’s (King’s) campuses. The survey asked questions that would best help us answer the overall research question. We asked things such as how productive students feel around indoor green spaces, how do indoor green spaces affect your overall well-being, where do you notice green spaces, where would you like green spaces, and would you want more indoor green spaces on campus. Quantitative data was analyzed using raw counts in addition to a t-test and a chi-squared test. Qualitative data was condensed into a handful of themes according to similarity and counts of the themes were then compared. Students feel more productive in the presence of indoor green spaces and an improved overall sense of well-being around indoor green spaces is statistically significant in our results. We also found students overwhelmingly agree to wanting more indoor green spaces on campus. The buildings where students already notice green spaces and where they would like to see more had most counts for the Killam Memorial Library (Killam), the Life Sciences Centre (LSC), and the Student Union Building (SUB). We recommend Dalhousie implements more indoor green spaces on campus. Students most prefer green walls and houseplants and would like to see them in the most frequently visited buildings on campus such as the Killam, LSC, and SUB. Adding more indoor green spaces to campus will increase student productivity and well-being.