Matthew Browning

Matthew Browning
Clemson University | CU · Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management

PhD

About

110
Publications
30,414
Reads
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2,273
Citations
Introduction
I aim to develop data-driven, cost-effective, nature-based solutions to assist with today's major societal issues, such as helping children rise out of poverty; reducing health care expenditures; alleviating depression, anxiety, and chronic stress; reducing medication dependence and overuse; and shrinking health and educational disparities. I see opportunities for both green infrastructure and simulated virtual environments to play roles in this goal.
Additional affiliations
August 2019 - April 2022
Clemson University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
August 2015 - July 2019
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
Education
August 2012 - July 2015
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Field of study
  • Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation
August 2010 - May 2012
Yale University
Field of study
  • Environmental Science
August 2001 - May 2005
Oberlin College
Field of study
  • Biology

Publications

Publications (110)
Article
Nature deficit poses critical developmental challenges to the future generations. Louv, for example, stated that children needs adequate nature exposure for healthy development of their sense, learning, and creativity. However, it remains unknown whether individuals having various levels of nature access during childhood may develop different senso...
Article
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Background: Given the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), particularly among military personnel, new treatment approaches are needed. One may be virtual relaxation interventions, especially 360-degree nature videos, since studies have demonstrated their relaxation effects for healthy participants. If these relaxation effects can be...
Article
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Residential green space is among the most accessible types of urban green spaces and may help maintain mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it is insufficiently understood how residents use residential green space for exercise during the epidemic. The pathways between residential green space and mental health also merit further expl...
Article
Exposure to blue spaces may promote psychological wellbeing and reduce mental distress. Whether these effects extend to suicide is unknown. We used register data from 14 million Dutch adults aged 18–64-years between 2007 and 2016 in a nested case-control study to estimate associations between blue space exposures and suicide risk. Each suicide case...
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A novel coronavirus disease known as COVID-19 has spread globally and brought a public health emergency to all nations. To respond to the pandemic, the Bangladesh Government imposed a nationwide lockdown that may have degraded mental health among residents, in particular , university students and working professionals. We examined clinically signif...
Article
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A pandemic has ravaged the world. Now, a war has generated a humanitarian catastrophe in Ukraine. On February 24, 2022, the Russian military invaded Ukraine unprovoked and unwarranted. As of writing this letter, Russian troops have edged closer to the Capital city; seized control of the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant and attacked the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear...
Article
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Healthcare students are clinicians-in-training likely to come into contact with COVID-19 as much as other frontline healthcare professionals. It is therefore necessary to prioritize vaccinations for this group. We conducted a global systematic assessment of COVID-19 vaccine acceptance rates and related factors among healthcare students using the Pu...
Article
Exposure to nature can improve psychological well-being such as attention restoration. These restorative benefits may be provided by windows looking onto nature, yet studies on the restorative qualities of windows have largely taken place in calm environments where restoration demands are relatively low. Thus, the restorative effects of windows in...
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Physical activity is essential to maintain physical and mental health. Unfortunately, insufficient physical activity has become a common phenomenon worldwide in the past decade, and the absence of interest in physical activity is assumed a reason. Therefore, strategies for fostering interests and promoting public engagement are in need. We conducte...
Article
Share Link (valid before June 24, 2022): https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1f14Z_WjFP6-jw Background: Behavior problems in children are shaped by a complex intertwining of environmental, social, and biological factors. This study investigated whether more nature exposure was associated with less behavior problems and whether these associations were m...
Article
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Background University students’ knowledge, attitude, and practice (KAP) toward COVID-19 are vital to prevent the spread of the virus, especially in the context of developing countries. Consequently, the present study aimed to determine the KAP levels of university students and associated anxiety during the earlier stage of the pandemic in Banglades...
Article
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While COVID-19 lockdowns have slowed coronavirus transmission, such structural measures also have unintended consequences on mental and physical health. Growing evidence shows that exposure to the natural environment (e.g., blue-green spaces) can improve human health and wellbeing. In this narrative review, we synthesized the evidence about nature'...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic affected every area of students’ lives, especially their education. Limited research has explored students’ experiences during the pandemic. This study documents how students across seven United States universities viewed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their educational experiences and how these students reacted to the...
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Background and objective Prior studies have shown higher green cover levels are associated with beneficial health outcomes. We sought to determine if residential green cover was also associated with direct healthcare costs. Methods We linked residential Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) satellite data for 5,189,303 members of Kaiser Pe...
Article
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Residential green spaces, arguably the most accessible type of urban green space, may have lasting impacts on children and even change their lives later in adulthood. However, the potential pathways from childhood residential green space to adulthood mental wellbeing are not well understood. Therefore, we conducted a questionnaire survey among Chin...
Article
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Widespread vaccination against COVID-19 is critical for controlling the pandemic. Despite the development of safe and efficacious vaccinations, low-and lower-middle income countries (LMICs) continue to encounter barriers to care owing to inequitable access and vaccine apprehension. This study aimed to summarize the available data on COVID-19 vaccin...
Article
https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1dhT53Ao5y1Ng Background Early life environments may influence children's blood pressure (BP), but evidence on the combined effects of natural and built environment exposures is scarce. The present study investigates the associations of natural and built environment indicators, traffic noise, and air pollution with B...
Article
Opioid consumption, both legal and illicit, has risen precipitously in the past few decades in the U.S., as has the number of deaths due to the use and misuse of opioids. Exposure to green spaces might help to alleviate the problematic levels of opioid use, as such exposure has been tied to health benefits relevant to opioid use. To explore the pot...
Article
The beneficial association between nature contact and human health is often explained with psycho-evolutionary frameworks such as stress reduction theory and the savanna hypothesis. However, evidence is limited on how natural environments that are not green affect stress. One example is the desert, which does not offer affordances for nourishment o...
Article
Trait emotional intelligence reflects a set of self-perceptions and behavioral tendencies to empathize with others and manage one's own emotions. Trait emotional intelligence is a valuable characteristic since it can aid social interaction, bolster subjective wellbeing, and predict career success. Past research suggests that brief exposures to gree...
Article
A growing literature shows that green space can have protective effects on human health. As a marginalized group, women often have worse life outcomes than men, including disparities in some health outcomes. Given their marginalization, women might have “more to gain” than men from living near green spaces. Yet, limited research has deliberately st...
Article
Exposure to green space has been proposed to be beneficially associated with cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Many studies have explored this topic, but the results remain conflicting. We aimed to evaluate the epidemiological evidence on this topic by performing a systematic review with meta-analysis. We searched PubMed, Web of Science and E...
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Historically, humans have interacted with soils, which contain a rich source of microorganisms. Fruit and vegetable gardening is the primary interaction humans have with soil today. Animal research reveals that soil microorganisms can be transferred to the rodent intestine. However, studies on fecal and soil microbial changes associated with garden...
Chapter
Teachers wishing to offer lessons in nature may hold back for fear of leaving students keyed up and unable to concentrate in subsequent, indoor lessons. This study tested the hypothesis that lessons in nature have positive—not negative—aftereffects on subsequent classroom engagement. Using carefully matched pairs of lessons (one in a relatively nat...
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Unverified information concerning COVID-19 can affect mental health. Understanding perceived trust in information sources and associated mental health outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic is vital to ensure ongoing media coverage of the crisis does not exacerbate mental health impacts. A number of studies have been conducted in other parts of the...
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Vaccination is undoubtedly one of the most effective strategies to halt the COVID-19 pandemic. The current study aimed to investigate the acceptance of COVID-19 vaccination and its associated factors using two health behavior change frameworks: the Health Belief Model (HBM) and the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB). A total of 639 Bangladeshi adults...
Article
The purpose of this integrative review was to explore how adolescents and young adults used the social determinant of the built environment, specifically greenspace, as a potential point of intervention to address overall well-being, specifically mental health symptoms. The approach used strategies described by Whittemore and Knafl. Peer-reviewed...
Article
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The COVID-19 pandemic has been very destructive to and compromised the functioning of all nations' public health systems. In the absence of a vaccine, healthcare workers have been employed to relentlessly fight against COVID-19. The psychological status of healthcare workers during the pandemic in countries with limited resources, notably Banglades...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected many people's psychological health. Impacts may be particularly severe among socially vulnerable populations such as college students, a group predisposed to mental health problems. Outdoor recreation and visits to greenspaces such as parks offer promising pathways for addressing the mental health chall...
Article
Background Greenness exposure may lower blood pressure. However, few studies of this relationship have been conducted with children and adolescents, especially in low and middle-income countries. Objectives To evaluate associations between greenness around schools and blood pressure among children and adolescents across China. Methods We recruite...
Article
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Multiple systematic reviews on greenspace and health outcomes exist, but the overall evidence base remains unclear. Therefore, we performed an umbrella review to collect and appraise all relevant systematic reviews of epidemiological studies on greenness exposure and health. We searched PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science from inception to June 28,...
Article
Decades of research in environmental psychology have shown that contact with natural environments has restorative, stress-ameliorating effects. At present, researchers in the emerging field of virtual natural environments are studying whether these restorative health effects can be reproduced with simulated environments, raising new possibilities f...
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Greenspace in urban areas may have greater protective health effects than elsewhere. Urban dwellers experience more environmental harmful exposures, attentional demands, and stressors than their suburban/rural counterparts. In this systematic review, we synthesize the results of studies that examined how the greenspace and health relationship varie...
Article
BACKGROUND AND AIM: There is increasing evidence that exposure to greenspaces promotes psychological well-being. The COVID-19 control measures restricted public greenspaces, which is likely to impact the people's psychological well-being. However, evidence on how the indoor or surrounding green environment might benefit mental well-being is limited...
Preprint
Full-text available
[FINAL PUBLISHED VERSION: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.155095 ] While COVID-19 lockdowns have slowed coronavirus transmission, such structural measures also have unintended consequences on mental and physical health. Growing evidence shows that exposure to the natural environment (e.g., blue-green spaces) can improve human health and we...
Presentation
Full-text available
Objectives Urbanization has reduced environmental microorganism exposure, with most Americans spending over 90% of their time indoors. However, gardening remains a viable means of exposure to soil microorganisms and harvesting of edible produce. Accordingly, we aimed to determine relations between gardening, dietary habits, and gut microbiota. Met...
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As evidence continues to mount that areas with more natural spaces also have healthier residents, researchers are beginning to suspect that these benefits extend beyond health to other related factors, such as healthcare spending. If more nature translates to better health, does more nature ultimately reduce the need for and spending on healthcare,...
Article
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While many studies suggest evidence for the health benefits of nature, there is currently no standardized method to measure time spent in nature or nature contact, nor agreement on how best to define nature contact in research. The purpose of this review is to summarize how nature contact has been measured in recent health research and provide insi...
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Disadvantaged groups worldwide, such as low-income and racially/ethnically minoritized people, experience worse health outcomes than more privileged groups, including wealthier and white people. Such health disparities are a major public health issue in several countries around the world. In this systematic review, we examine whether green space sh...
Article
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Evolutionary psychology theories propose that contact with green, natural environments may benefit physical health, but little comparable evidence exists for brown, natural environments, such as the desert. In this study, we examined the association between “brownness” and “greenness” with fasting glucose among young residents of El Paso, Texas. We...
Article
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Background Virtual reality (VR) is an evolving technology that is becoming a common treatment for pain management and psychologic phobias. Although nonimmersive devices ( e . g ., the Nintendo Wii) have been previously tested with patients on hemodialysis, no studies to date have used fully immersive VR as a tool for intervention delivery. This pil...
Article
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Background University students are increasingly recognized as a vulnerable population, suffering from higher levels of anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and disordered eating compared to the general population. Therefore, when the nature of their educational experience radically changes—such as sheltering in place during the COVID-19 pandemic—t...
Article
Full-text available
Previous studies have demonstrated health benefits result from exposure to natural environments. Virtual reality (VR) may offer an alternative to actual outdoor immersion by generating a simulated health-promoting environment. Given that health issues are more prevalent in older adults, this study investigated the restorative effects of virtual nat...
Preprint
Full-text available
Evolutionary psychology theories propose that contact with green, natural environments may benefit physical health, but little comparable evidence exists for brown, natural environments, such as the desert. In this study, we examined the association between “brownness” and “greenness” with fasting glucose among young residents of El Paso, Texas. We...
Article
Background Greenness may protect from or contribute to allergy risk by influencing air pollution and human-microbe interactions. However, existing research on the issue is heterogeneous and produced conflicting results. Less in known about the effects of greyness. This study investigated the association between different characteristics of resident...
Article
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Converging evidence from hundreds of studies suggests that contact with nature enhances learning in elementary and high school students-could greening in and around schoolyards improve academic achievement in sixth grade students, many of whom are negotiating the transition from elementary to middle school? This study examines the greenness-academi...
Article
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Background: While greenness has been associated with lower depression, the generalizability of this association in arid landscapes remains undetermined. We assessed the association between depression and residential greenness, but also brownness and grayness among nursing students living in El Paso, Texas (the Chihuahuan desert). Methods: Depres...
Article
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly changed people’s ability to recreate in public green spaces, which is likely to exacerbate the psychological impacts of the pandemic. In the current study, we seek to understand whether greenery can support mental health even with insufficient outdoor exposure in times of physical isolation from the...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: While greenness has been associated with lower depression, the generalizability of this association in arid landscapes remains undetermined. We assessed the association between depression and greenness among nursing students living in El Paso, Texas (the Chihuahuan desert). Methods: Depression was measured with the Patient Health Questi...
Article
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In this correspondence, we emphasize two methodological caveats of ecological studies assessing associations between COVID-19 and its physical and social environmental determinants. First, we stress that inference is error-prone due to the modifiable areal unit problem and the modifiable temporal unit problem. The possibility of confounding from us...
Article
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The past months have been tumultuous across the country because of the COVID-19 pandemic, with widespread stay-at-home orders and school closures occurring amid typically intense program planning for summer camps. As a result, this summer looked remarkably different from previous camp seasons. All programs had to make incredibly difficult decisions...
Article
Previous studies have demonstrated health benefits result from exposure to natural environments. Virtual reality (VR) may offer an alternative to actual outdoor immersion by generating a simulated health-promoting environment. Given that health issues are more prevalent in older adults, this study investigated the restorative effects of VR natural...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Living in the time of the COVID-19 means experiencing not only a global health emergency but also extreme psychological stress with potential emotional side effects such as sadness, grief, irritability, and mood swings. Crucially, lockdown and confinement measures isolate people who become the first and the only ones in charge of their...
Preprint
Full-text available
BACKGROUND: University students are increasingly recognized as a vulnerable population, suffering from higher levels of anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and disordered eating compared to the general population. Therefore, when the nature of their educational experience radically changes—such as sheltering in place during the COVID-19 pandemic—...
Preprint
This study examines the restorative qualities of windows with green views in a common working and leisure environment. College students (N=88) were exposed to a virtual environment of a busy café with dozens of people working, talking, and moving about. The environment was created by a 6-minute projection based on the concept of a CAVE virtual real...
Article
Rapid urbanization inadvertently separates people from the natural landscapes in which we evolved. This disconnect can impact human health and cognitive functioning by exposing people to increased levels of pollution and limiting people's opportunities for physical activity. Built environment researchers may prevent the negative effects of urbaniza...
Article
Full-text available
Accumulating evidence indicates that simulated natural settings can engage mechanisms that promote health. Simulations offer alternatives to actual natural settings for populations unable to travel outdoors safely; however, few studies have contrasted the effects of simulations of natural settings to their actual outdoor counterparts. We compared t...